‘Stealth’ technology could mean universal blood transfusions—regardless of blood type


Scientists have created a “stealth” red blood cell that camouflages its immune status, meaning it could potentially be transfused into anybody in an emergency, regardless of their blood type.

The finding, published in Science Advances, promises to shake up my own former field of emergency medicine, where treating people who have lost litres of blood from shootings, stabbings and road trauma is all in a day’s work.

“O neg” blood is annoyingly rare – only about nine per cent of people have it. And when people stop donating blood, during a coronavirus epidemic for example, stockpiles can plummet.

Enter a team of researchers led by Ben Wang at Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China.

Related article:  Extinct Denisovans – modern human cousins – may have contributed genes to high-altitude adaptations seen in Tibetans

They took Rh positive human red blood cells and coated them with a hydrogel sheath, anchored to the surface of the cell. Their goal was twofold: they wanted to hide the red cell’s Rh status from the immune system and do it in a way that didn’t render the cell useless in terms of carrying oxygen.

Wang’s group ran the robo red cell through its oxygen-carrying paces and found that it took up and delivered oxygen with almost precisely the same dynamics as a real cell.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend