Skip to main content

Can Artificial Blood From Stem Cells be a Reality?



Scientists from IIT Madras have created red blood cells from stem cells. And you know what? If all goes well according to their plan it can be used in blood transfusions. So what are stem cells? They are biological cells which are found in multicellular organisms. They divide and differentiate into various specialized cells and could self replicate them to produce more cells of their own kind.

Back to our topic, the story of artificial blood can be mind boggling. The two most common types of artificial blood are hemoglobin based oxygen carriers and perflourocarbons. Artificial blood is quite versatile than the real blood. It has long shelf life, does not need refrigeration and above all it does not need to be specifically matched for a particular type.

The researchers say that once the artificial blood’s oxygen carrying capacity is proved the red blood cells will go into mass production before starting human trials in three years time. Interested to know how they did it? The scientists cultured adult stem cells derived from cord blood and added some nutritional supplements. They did not use any expensive enzymes or growth factors but the yield was quite phenomenal……Times of India reports a billion times high.

Human embryonic cells Wikipedia
The scientists across the globe have been working on this but all most all attempts yielded 40% of white blood cells in the culture and this kind of transfusion for those with weak immune system can be tricky. The present research yielded an exclusive produce of red blood cells. The trials will be first conducted on anemic mice. I hope human trials will start in three years.

This artificial blood may be a boon because the demand for transfusions is climbing each day, though transfusion is safe in many countries: in Nigeria the second largest source of HIV infection is blood transfusion, it is valuable in battle fields, in trauma situations, is most cost effective, it allows full capacity of oxygen transport, is an answer to the cultural problems and shows potential for cancer treatments.

Take care,
Swarnam

Photo of red cells by renjith Krishnan
Photo courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Facial Exercises - The Secret to a Youthful Face

Facial exercises are hailed as a non-invasive alternative to Botox and surgery. You can take years off your face by just doing some facial exercises. Yep and this fact has a strong scientific backing to it. 
Facial exercises may improve facial appearance and reduce some visible signs of aging says a recently published research study.
"Assuming the findings are confirmed in a larger study, individuals now have a low-cost, non-toxic way for looking younger or to augment other cosmetic or anti-aging treatments they may be seeking," says lead author Dr. Murad Alam, vice chair and professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine dermatologist.
When you perform facial exercises, they enlarge and strengthen your facial muscles making your face more toned and younger looking. ‘The exercises work the hypodermis or the lower layer of the skin, the dermis or the middle layer and the epidermis or the upper layer.

‘By working all the…

Amazing Health Benefits of Purslane (Luni- Bhaji)

Purslane is heavily loaded with nutrients and it is excellent for your health. Believe me, I did not know this truth. While I am shopping, I will pick all other greens and did not mind about this wonderful leafy vegetable.
Then the other day I read about Purslane in Authority Nutrition. I felt so bad that I have missed such a wealth of nutrients till now. But not anymore. So if you want to know more about this Purslane then read the entire post.
Purslane
The North Indians called it Luni-bhaji. It seems that Gandhiji ate it and named it Luni. Though it had its origins in India. It is famous the world over. This leafy vegetable has a sour and salty taste.
Nutrients
Purslane has a wealth of nutrients waiting for you to consume them. It has the following nutrients. ØEPA ØVitamin A ØVitamin E ØVitamin B ØCalcium ØPotassium ØIron ØOmega 3 fatty acids ØVitamin C ØNiacin ØPyridoxine ØRiboflavin ØCarotenoids The other amazing facts about Purslane include ØThey are very low in calories ØRich in dietary fiber Ø

All You Need to Know About the Dangers of Talc for Your Baby

If you use talcum powder for your baby, then take a few minutes to read this article. Talcum powder is a mineral based product made up of elements like silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. It absorbs moisture pretty quickly and helps to cut down on friction. 
Mothers use it to keep their babies’ bottom dry and rash free. So far so good. But health experts warn you about the dangers of talc for your baby. 
The American Academy of Paediatrics advises that talcum powder can cause breathing trouble and severe lung damage for babies if your baby inhales the particles. Talc powders contain minute granules which can quickly pass through your babies’ airways.
If your baby inhales the tiny particles, it can lead to lung irritation and respiratory distress. Even asbestos free talcum powder can irritate and inflame your baby’s nasal airways.
The results can be more drastic if your baby is at high risk of respiratory illness. The high risk includes premature babies, babies who've had many respiratory …