Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ghost cells, are they true?

Are there really ghost cells? Do they say “boo!”?

I know it’s a long way to Halloween but I thought that today would be as good as any other(day) to introduce a new cell, the “ghost cell”.

Well, “ghost cell” was originally used to describe a red blood cell that has lost its haemoglobin because of hemolysis. Since a human red blood cell has no nucleus, once it loses its haemoglobin, it appears like a “ghost” because only the cell membrane remains. So it appears just like a transparent circle, a ghost.

Lately however, the term “ghost cell” is also used to refer to any cell without any nucleus or cytoplasmic structures such that only the outline of the cell is visible.

One form of cancer, ameloblastoma, a cancer of the jaw and tooth related structures, is characterized by the presence of ghost cell tumor.

So ghost cells are really dead cells!Let's just hope they don't go a-haunting.

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