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British scientists to create 'synthetic' blood

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posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 11:30 AM
Human embryos will be used to make an unlimited supply for infection-free transfusions
Scientists in Britain plan to become the first in the world to produce unlimited amounts of synthetic human blood from embryonic stem cells for emergency infection-free transfusions.

A major research project is to be announced this week that will culminate in three years with the first transfusions into human volunteers of "synthetic" blood made from the stem cells of spare IVF embryos. It could help to save the lives of anyone from victims of traffic accidents to soldiers on a battlefield by revolutionising the vital blood transfusion services, which have to rely on a network of human donors to provide a constant supply of fresh blood.

The aim is to stimulate embryonic stem cells to develop into mature, oxygen-carrying red blood cells for emergency transfusions. Such blood would have the benefit of not being at risk of being infected with viruses such as HIV and hepatitis, or the human form of "mad cow" disease. The military in particular needs a constant supply of fresh, universal donor blood for battlefield situations when normal supplies from donors can quickly run out.

But developing blood made from the cells of spare IVF embryos will raise difficult ethical issues for people not happy with the idea of destroying embryos to create stem cells. It also raises the intriguing philosophical question of whether the synthetic blood will have come from someone who never existed. In theory, just one embryo could meet the nation's needs.

Scientists in other countries, notably Sweden, France and Australia, are also known to be working on the development of synthetic blood from embryonic stem cells.

And last year, a team from a US biotechnology company, Advanced Cell Technology, announced that it has been able to produce billions of functioning red blood cells from embryonic stem cells. But the US work had been held up because of funding problems dating back to the ban on embryonic stem cell work under the Bush administration. President Barack Obama has since reversed that policy.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 06:53 PM
I heard about this on the local news the other day. I'm just not quite sure how I feel about this.

How does it work?
Researchers will test embryos left over from IVF treatment to identify which ones are already genetically programmed to develop into the O-Negative blood group.
Stem cells from those embryos are then cultured in a laboratory and stimulated with nutrients and growth factors that convert them into red blood cells.
As stem cells can multiply indefinitely theoretically you could make an unlimited quantity of blood from a single cell.


They're calling it "synthetic blood".

Nope. I just to know what to think of this.. Glad you posted it though.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 06:57 PM
Well truly, if it's something that can save lives, and we can create an abundance of it simply using stem cells. I say why not, my God we'd have to be idiots not to want a Universal blood that could be used in anybody at any point without the risk of any serious problems.

Imagine, this could even be used for organ transplants to keep the body from rejecting the tissue, aswell as could lead the way to better living for people on dialisis and it could also help research of blood born ilnesses.

Great find as far as I am concerned. The religious people will call ethical foul on this, as they do with most scientific discoveries, but luckily common sense prevails in these situations.



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