Need more … blood

13 11 2011

Find out if you are eligible to donate blood and head down to the nearest location. You don’t need to go to medical school to save three lives.  Why three? After donation, your blood is separated into three components Red Blood Cells, Platelets and Plasma. They are used differently depending on what the patient needs. Which brings me to my second point….

Someone figured out a way to pluck out some of your bone marrow, drown the cells in a cocktail of signalling proteins to make them proliferate and voila you have a puddle of your own blood grown outside of your body! In this instance, however, the research was restricted to red blood cells and these cells were cloned enough to produce 2 mls of blood. This was then injected back into the subject and the cells were found to survive normally. It’s really cool research if you ask me but I was amused by how one of the researchers seemed to promise too much. “The results show promise that an unlimited blood reserve is within reach”. Yeah right. A lot of innovation has the knack of not scaling up to be useful outside of the lab, but we’re hopeful!

Read the Abstract and you can get the original paper if you have one of those library subscriptions.

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