As reported by the Daily Mail, artificial blood developed by UK scientists could soon be produced on an industrial scale.
The scientists, working from Edinburgh and Bristol University have successfully created millions of red blood cells from stem cells (these are taken from the bone marrow). Scientists know that cells taken from human embryos are most easy to multiply in large numbers. However, researchers have not yet managed to create realistic blood.
Once an effective technique has been developed, this artificial blood will be free from disease and could be given to anyone, regardless of their blood group. Scientists believe that this will improve blood transfusions by preventing hospital shortages. The artificial blood is also hoped to save many lives at road traffic accidents, during surgery and at war.
However, many do not agree with technique of extracting stem cells from human embryos in order to advance medical science. Therefore, as Mr Turner from the Wellcome Trust highlights, ‘There is a lot of regulatory framework to ensure that the cells are being treated with the appropriate respect and being used for genuine scientific and medical reasons and not in a trivial fashion.’