The medical industry has something of a bloodlust. Because so many of us require transfusions every day, between injuring ourselves or undergoing surgery, blood and blood donors are always in demand. But that could change thanks to a group of biologists who believe they're just two to three years away from creating an artificial version of our red life-juice.Environment Clean Generations
An Edinburgh University team is using stem cells from bone marrow in healthy humans to grow a material that closely resembles the red blood cells created naturally in the body. Professor Marc Turner, who leads the team, believes the blood could be ready for trials in as little as two years, once it's married with research producing artificial haemoglobin -- the protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood of vertibrates.
The team are working to produce blood type O-negative, which is good news, as that's the type that 98 percent of us can accept. Because it's essentially manufactured, it would be guaranteed to be free from any viruses and diseases, like HIV, Hepatitis and vCJD (mad cow disease).
However, the blood wouldn't be a replacement for our natural juices and instead would act a stopgap to tide patients over in situations when the real stuff can't be used. In addition, even with the tests on the horizon, it's unlikely we'll see the fake blood used normally in hospitals, warzones or crisis areas until at leat the turn of the next decade. So don't stop donating just yet.
by "environment clean generations"