Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Human Skin to Blood

"Researchers at Canada's McMaster University report that they've figured out how to make blood out of human skin. The breakthrough could eventually mean that patients needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions, the university said. (From Skin To Blood)"

This is a huge breakthrough for medical science. The thought of taking your own skin and turning it into blood that could be used in a transfusion for yourself, is astounding. This could help so many people and provide a safer way to get blood. If you're making blood out of your own skin that cuts the risk of getting a disease from a blood transfusion to zero percent. Now as amazing as this discovery is, it'll still be a long time before this process is commercialized and used in hospitals all around the country. However, once this does start to become a part of everyday medical practice, the medical world will never be the same. If this proves to be as great a discovery as it sounds, there might never have to be another blood drive.

"The scientists were able to convert the cells directly without first converting them to pluripotent stem cells - the kind that can grow into any type of organ or tissue - and then converting them again to blood, Bhatia said."

This in itself is remarkable. From my knowledge, this is the first cell they have been able to convert from one type to another without wiping it free of its DNA first and then inserting new.

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