Saturday, June 8, 2013

Say Goodbye to Blood Drives - Researchers May Soon Produce Blood

My opinion: For years, I had always wondered if this would be possible in the future.  With stem cell researchers trying to figure out how to make new organs, it may also be possible for them to create blood cells.  Though the organs are obviously vital, this may be more important as so many people are affected by blood loss.  Currently, since only donors can give blood, there might be excess blood of one type but very little blood of another type, meaning that some patients in need of blood may not be able to get any, even if there seems to be a sufficient amount of it available.  But with statistics and accurate planning, scientists may produce all blood types in an efficient manner, helping everyone in need instead of just a few.  If this will soon be possible, it makes me wonder what else is in the near future.  Perhaps skin replacements for patients with severe burns?  Whatever else is coming, I hope that there will be enough resources to create long-lasting therapies - this in particular seems to be a cost effective solution.  Feel free to comment.

 

Researchers identify novel approach to create red blood cells, platelets in vitro

Finding could reduce need for blood donations, speed up research on therapies to treat diseases

(Boston) – A study led by Boston University School of Medicine has identified a novel approach to create an unlimited number of human red blood cells and platelets in vitro. In collaboration with Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and Boston Medical Center (BMC), the researchers differentiated induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into these cell types, which are typically obtained through blood donations. This finding could potentially reduce the need for blood donations to treat patients requiring blood transfusions and could help researchers examine novel therapeutic targets to treat a variety of diseases, including sickle cell disease.
Published online in the journal Blood, the study was led by George J. Murphy, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at BUSM and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) at Boston University and BMC and performed in collaboration with David Sherr, PhD, a professor in environmental health at BUSM and BUSPH.
iPS cells are derived by reprogramming adult cells into a primitive stem cell state that are capable of differentiating into different types of cells. iPS cells can be generated from mature somatic cells, such as skin or blood cells, allowing for the development of patient-specific cells and tissues that should not elicit inappropriate immune responses, making them a powerful tool for biological research and a resource for regenerative medicine.

From: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-05/bumc-rin053013.php

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