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The Cure

Building Blood

Pioneering scientists are using stem cells in a bid to end blood shortages.

Last Modified: 18 Sep 2013 06:58
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About 107 million blood donations are collected worldwide every year, helping to save countless lives.

But many patients requiring transfusions do not have access to safe blood.

At the University of Glasgow in Scotland scientists are looking at how to produce blood using stem cells. These cells have the ability to turn into any cell type and scientists feed them with a particular mix of nutrients and natural chemicals to encourage them to grow into red blood cells.

One of the first groups of patients this manufactured blood could be tested on and benefit are those with the inherited blood disorder thalassaemia, a disease which affects the body’s ability to create red blood cells.

Emergency medic Dr Javid Abdelmoneim meets researchers building blood, as well as a thalassaemia patient who could benefit from this cutting edge technique.

 

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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