Sunday, November 7, 2010

Modern Miracle: Skin Transformed into Blood

Got blood? Future patients who need transfusions for surgery and cancer treatments could get it from a patch of their own skin.
Canadian researchers took the huge step of transforming adult human skin directly into blood, as detailed in the Nov. 7 issue of the journal Nature. That should provide a desperately needed new source of blood for not only surgical and cancer patients, but also for patients suffering from blood disorders such as anemia.
The new method looks far more promising than trying to convert embryonic stem cells into blood. That approach has disappointed so far because of inefficiencies in converting the stem cells into mature cell types for transplantation. In addition, that method produces embryonic blood cells that can't be transplanted into adults.
By contrast, the new shortcut pioneered by the Canadians "has the major benefit of producing adult-type l blood cells instead of fetal blood cells," said Cynthia Dunbar, head of the molecular hematopoiesis section of the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. As an outside expert, she described the latest research as a paradigm changer for creating blood cells.
Researchers also previously tried using reprogrammed adult stem cells from human skin to make blood, because they avoid the ethical concerns concerning embryonic stem cells and the immune system complications that might reject foreign biological material.

Source and More:

No comments: