Scientists use Embryonic Stem Cells to Make Synthetic Blood

A report out today, says British scientists plan to make synthetic human blood using stem cells from human embryos left over from IVF treatments. Professor Marc Turner, of Edinburgh University, the director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service will lead this groundbreaking study with funding from Wellcome Trust, a large medical research charity.

Stem Cells

A report out today, says British scientists plan to make synthetic human blood using stem cells from human embryos left over from IVF treatments. Professor Marc Turner, of Edinburgh University, the director of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service will lead this groundbreaking study with funding from Wellcome Trust, a large medical research charity. US research in this area was halted by the Bush administration. With President Obama recently overturning the ban on embryonic stem cell research, US researchers may soon follow suit with British researchers. Scientists say synthetic human blood will not carry the risk of transmitting diseases, such as HIV Aids, hepatitis and mad cow disease, which is a problem with blood from human donors.

The project will last for three years, and researchers hope to develop an unlimited supply of safe blood to use for emergency transfusions. Researchers will attempt to stimulate the embryonic cells, with the hope they will develop into mature, oxygen-rich red blood cells, which can be made into a human synthetic blood product for use at hospitals.

Researchers plan to use embryos that test as O-negative, which is a universal donor group that can be transfused into people having any blood type. Because only seven percent of the population have an O-negative blood type, it’s difficult for hospitals to keep on hand. If the British researchers are successful with this new study, an unlimited supply of safe universal, human synthetic blood can be produced.

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1 Response

  1. PapayaSF says:

    “US research in this area was halted by the Bush administration. With President Obama recently overturning the ban on embryonic stem cell research….”

    There was never a federal “ban” on such research. There was a limitation on the use of federal money, which for some years could only be used for research on existing embryonic stem cell lines.

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