Monday, November 08, 2010

Blood banks without the needles

New research has brought us to the brink of possibly retiring blood banks as we know them. New advances in adult stem cell research have enabled scientists in the laboratory to convert a patient's own skin cells into bone marrow cells and create blood cells identical to the patient's own. This has a number of important implications. First, blood banks would no longer be subject to shortages due to a drop in donations, in fact it is conceivable that donations may no longer even be necessary, although they will probably remain to be the blood bank's mainstay due to cost. Secondly, those in need of a bone marrow transplant no longer need to worry about finding a close enough donor match, because they could be their OWN donor, and the match would be genetically perfect. Clinical trials should begin possibly as soon as 2012.

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