Blood transfusions used to be a silly business involving long waits for donors that required compatible blood types. Thanks to stem cell research, waiting for these donors is no longer necessary. Scientists have used embryonic stem cells to generate blood which could eventually lead to an unlimited supply of type O-negative blood, the most sought after blood for transfusions.
“We literally generated whole tubes in the lab, from scratch,” said Robert Lanza, chief science officer at Advanced Cell Technologies.
Unbelievable, but don’t stop donating blood just yet, Lanza and his colleagues at the Mayo Clinic and University of Illinois devised this method of blood creation but have yet to test it on animals, much less humans.
“At this stage, the work is very promising, but has not progressed to the stage where the cultured cells are fully equivalent” to natural cells, said the organization in a statement. “Much more work will yet be needed before this becomes a practical reality.”
Well, I guess it’s back to the Red Cross donation center for me. With an immunity to AIDS just a gene edit away and a cure for cancer just over the horizon, the future is looking bright for all of mankind.