Donor blood shortage solved? Scientists can now mass produce artificial blood

blood donor bags
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and every year, 4.5 million Americans would die without life-saving blood transfusions.

Not nearly enough blood is being donated to meet the growing demand, leading to shortages that prevent lives from being saved.

…But new research from the University of Bristol and the U.K.’s National Health Service offers hope with a medical breakthrough that could one day revolutionize the blood transfusion process.

In the study, published March 14 in the journal Nature Communications, the team of British scientists outline their technique for producing a potentially unlimited supply of artificial blood. This means of creating blood could be particularly useful for helping people with extremely rare blood types, the study’s authors note.

Using their new method, the team of scientists was able to arrest development of the stem cells at an early stage during which they multiply indefinitely. When the stem cells are in this multiplying stage, the scientists can trigger them to become red blood cells.

The technique could one day be used to sustainably create blood for use among patients in need, but widespread use in clinical settings could be some years away. The Bristol team only produced several bags of blood ― not nearly enough blood to supply even a single hospital.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: In Breakthrough Discovery, Scientists Mass-Produce Artificial Blood

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