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Bone marrow is the spongy, liquid substance in the centre of some bones. Its main function is to produce blood cells. It constantly produces blood cells to meet the body’s needs.
There are 2 main types of bone marrow. Yellow bone marrow stores fatty tissue. Red bone marrow is where stem cells develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.
Blood cells are formed through a process called hematopoiesis. All blood cells develop from young, immature cells called stem cells. Stem cells can change into the different types of cells, including blood cells, depending on what the body needs. Stem cells develop and mature into the various types of cells by a process called differentiation.
Stem cells develop into blood cells in the bone marrow. When blood cells are mature and able to function, they leave the bone marrow and move into the blood.
Stem cells can be found in the bone marrow, bloodstream and umbilical cord blood.
The 3 main types of blood cells are:
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