I see a Nobel Prize in someone’s future…

…if this is accurate:

Transfusion breakthrough as human blood grown from stem cells.

Vials of human blood have been grown from embryonic stem cells for the first time during research that promises to provide an almost limitless supply suitable for transfusion into any patient.

The achievement by scientists in the United States could lead to trials of the blood within two years, and ultimately to an alternative to donations that would transform medicine.

If such blood was made from stem cells of the O negative blood type, which is compatible with every blood group but is often in short supply, it could be given safely to anybody who needs a transfusion.

Stem-cell-derived blood would also eliminate the risk of transmitting the pathogens that cause hepatitis, HIV and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) through transfusions.

Scientists behind the advance said that it has huge therapeutic potential and could easily become the first application of embryonic stem-cell research to enter widespread clinical use. “Limitations in the supply of blood can have potentially life-threatening consequences for patients with massive blood loss,” said Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) in Massachusetts, who led the experiments. “Embryonic stem cells represent a new source of cells that can be propagated and expanded indefinitely, providing a potentially inexhaustible source of red blood cells for human therapy. The identification of a stem cell line with O negative blood type would permit the production of compatible ‘universal donor’ blood.”

I’d wager that some people will refuse stem-cell derived blood transfusions on religious grounds. I wonder if others will do so on the grounds of its ‘unnaturalness’?

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2 Responses

  1. This is very exciting! I work at a cancer hospital and write often about stem cell research.

    I think people will be less concerned with naturalness and more concerned that the blood is being grown from embryonic stem cells. That’s going to drive the fundies nuts.

  2. What about the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

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