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Another Try at Artificial Blood 37

Posted by michael
from the vampires-not-pleased dept.
kpogoda writes "There are some Swedish scientists that have successfully produced a powdered form of blood that can be used to treat patients. Although it is not ready for transfusions yet it is a major breakthrough in a much needed arena."
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Another Try at Artificial Blood

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  • Why would the vampires not be pleased? This is a safe and quick blood-source, which may very well be more stable than the older homocidal methods. Surely on this pro-OSS extra choices would be seen as a good thing?
  • This article made me realize something... this fancy new powdered blood (akin to Tang, I think) is called Hemospan. So why the hell does Hemos call himself Hemos? Is he trying to make a fashion statement about blood, using some stylish shortening of the word 'hemoglobin'? I guess blood-red is really in these days.
  • by Micro$will (592938) on Friday October 24, 2003 @12:51PM (#7301634) Homepage Journal
    A.K.A. Vampire Tang
  • Hmmm (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Artifical blood made from...blood!
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Informative)

      by Valdrax (32670)
      The point is that it can be safely kept in storage for much longer at room temperature (which is a huge boon for developing countries) and doesn't require type-matching (which is a minor speedup for emergency care). Furthermore, it can apparently eventually be made from non-human sources. This is, in every way, cool.
  • Made from contented donors.
  • by anactofgod (68756) on Friday October 24, 2003 @02:08PM (#7302433)
    I'm not a doctor (but I play one on TV), and I'm confused by a seeming contradiction in the article.

    One paragraph states "The product is a powder made from blood that has been stored for more than six weeks and can not be used for transfusion." Later in the article, the following statement is made "The powder can be mixed into liquid when required, and transfused into patients regardless of their blood type."

    Was the intent of the first statement to indicate that Hemospan is necessary, but not sufficient, in that it lacks the functionality of the platelets and plasma?

    ---anactofgod---
    • I think it's trying to get across that if you try to transfuse someone's blood with POWDER, the results will be less than ideal. Mix with liquid first. :)
    • by jfengel (409917) on Friday October 24, 2003 @02:30PM (#7302666) Homepage Journal
      As far as I can tell, they're taking just the hemoglobin from outdated blood, and then wrapping it up in a deliverable form. So it's made from blood, but they've stripped out anything that could cause rejection, along with viruses and other nasty things.

      The article says that they could do it from any mammalian blood, but use human blood for "ethical reasons". PETA members, perhaps? It makes sense that this procedure could use any hemoglobin source, as all mammals are pretty much identical from that standpoint.

      Personally, I'd prefer that they take the bazillions of gallons of cows' blood that are produced anyway and use it to save lives. It's not currently wasted, as it's used for a variety of agricultural and industrial uses, but it could save lives more directly by making blood substitutes cheaper.

      I guess some people would REALLY prefer not to get animal blood, no matter how vigorously processed, just from the squick factor.
      • >The article says that they could do it from any mammalian blood, but use human blood for "ethical reasons". PETA members, perhaps?

        I don't know. The question is: have they really stripped out 100% of the "nasty things"?

        If it is not 100%, but 99.99% using cow's blood could create new illness: animals illness transmited to men..
        • A disease that affects cows and is present in their blood won't affect humans just by being transfused into them - it has to be a disease which can affect humans in the first place, and even in that case it could be just as easily transmitted by eating a hamburger.
      • Scientists are actually working on a blood subsitutie, also called a Hemoglobin Based Oxygen Carrier, derived from cow blood. Biopure Corporation calls its product Hemopure. The company has a fairly inofrmative website here [biopure.com]. Wired Magazine had another decent piece [wired.com]. Currently it is in human trials in South Africa where AIDS has decimated the blood supply.

        The problem with pure hemoglobin is that it falls apart in the blood when not in a blood cell and becomes poisonous. Hemopure is cross linked with polyme
    • Well, "The product is a powder made from [blood that has been stored for more than six weeks and can not be used for transfusion]." Clear now?
  • Powdered toast?
  • by MImeKillEr (445828) on Friday October 24, 2003 @02:31PM (#7302674) Homepage Journal
    It tastes just as good as the original!

    Reminds me of the old joke:

    A vampire walks into a bar and orders a glass of warm water.

    The bartender brings him the glass and asks "what's this for?"

    The vampire pulls out a used tampon, dunks it in the glass and says

    'I prefer instant'

    Or something like that....!
  • I have a shake for breakfast, a shake for for lunch, and a sensible dinner.
  • by frankjr (591955) on Friday October 24, 2003 @03:35PM (#7303331) Journal
    This is a very important development for Jehovah's Witnesses. The article mentions that it is possible to use animal blood rather than human blood for blood transfusions. It is against Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs to accept blood transfusions because it is considered to be consuming the flesh of another person. So, since accepting animal blood would not be against the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, it may clear up the controversy surrounding JW's refusal of necessary blood transfusions?
  • What a wonderful idea.

    Of course this [foresight.org] would be even better. But you know --one step at a time.

    I was hoping they had some artificial plasma as well. That would be miraculous and a real cost saver. But it would also be asking a bit much. The plasma is where all the interesting proteins hide, so it probably will never be suited to a dried form. But if it does get figured out, whoa look out. That will probably be about the same time somebody pinpoints the mechanism behind reprogramming after nuclear tr

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