Video: Stating the Scientific Name Given to Red Blood Cells in Humans

What is the scientific name given to red blood cells in humans? [A] Phagocytes [B] Haemocytes [C] Lymphocytes [D] Erythrocytes [E] Oocytes

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Video Transcript

What is the scientific name given to red blood cells in humans? (A) Phagocytes, (B) hemocytes, (C) lymphocytes, (D) erythrocytes, or (E) oocytes.

This question is asking us to select the option that’s telling us the scientific name that we use for red blood cells. This is where being familiar with the different parts that make up scientific words really comes in handy. We can break the words in our answer choices down into five different prefixes and just one suffix. The word part -cyte means cell, which tells us that all of our choices actually name different types of cells.

Phago- is a word part that means eating. And phagocytes are cells that are able to surround and engulf particles or other cells. Hemo- is a word that means pertaining to the blood. And hemocyte is a general term for blood cells. It applies to more than one type of cell in more than one type of organism. Lympho- is a word that means pertaining to the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes are a type of immune cell. Erythro- is a word part that means red. So an erythrocyte would be a red cell. That sounds right, but let’s keep going. Oo- is a word part that means egg. So oocytes are egg cells.

Let’s return to our answer choices. Some of these are obviously incorrect. And on first glance, you might be tempted to choose hemocytes, especially if you remember that red blood cells contain hemoglobin. But hemocyte is a general term for all blood cells and actually usually refers to the blood of invertebrates, not humans. Erythro- is a word part that means red. So the correct scientific name given to red blood cells is erythrocytes.

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