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Scientists Race To Create Synthetic Blood in the Wake of Mass Tragedies (vice.com) 99

An anonymous reader shares a report: Scientists have been working on creating synthetic blood for years now. The hope is that this substance will have a longer shelf life than human blood -- which can only be refrigerated for 42 days -- and eventually can be packaged and stored for use in emergencies. If this works, thousands of lives could be saved every year. "People can't show up fast enough and then the system can't draw their blood fast enough to meet the need," said Allan Doctor, a physician and researcher at the Washington University in St. Louis. Doctor's lab has been working to create a blood substitute called ErythroMer, comprised of human hemoglobin, sourced from the red blood cells in expired blood at blood banks, and a synthetic polymer. This synthetic blood is actually a dehydrated powder, which would allow it to be stored for years, rather than weeks, and easily transported. Doctor envisions that it could eventually be packaged along with purified water so that doctors or EMTs could mix it when they needed to use it on a patient. ErythroMer is still in the planning stages. It has only been tested on animals, and Doctor predicts that the team is about three to five years from the first human trials. Following that, it will need FDA approval, and then healthcare workers will need to be trained to use it properly to avoid infections. "It's important for us to have a bulletproof delivery system," Doctor told me. He predicts that it will be available in six to 10 years if the trials are successful, and if they can make a cost-effective formula. There are different approaches to creating synthetic blood, which is technically just a way of transporting oxygen in the body. In 2013, a team in Romania announced that they were making it with albumin, a liver protein, and hemerythrin, a protein extracted from worms. In the UK, scientists with the National Health Service have been testing lab-grown red blood cells.
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Scientists Race To Create Synthetic Blood in the Wake of Mass Tragedies

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  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @06:04PM (#55318167) Journal

    I'm not sure I see how racing is going to help them create synthetic blood. Shouldn't they be doing research instead?

    • Holy cow! What a great idea -- synthetic and alternatives to human blood! If only someone had thought to start research on it centuries ago!

      Why did no one think of this??? It's obvious we can use it...in hindsight.

      Talk about Captain Obvious. Duh to all of us, all humanity!

    • Tru Blood
  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @06:04PM (#55318171)
    what he said
  • ... ban semi/automatic weapons in the first place...
    • An average person can convert a semi-auto rifle into a full auto rifle in about an hour using common tools. You can buy most of the parts of an automatic rifle without a license, you just need a way to get the lower receiver to complete it. They make lower receiver kits, that you can buy without a license. More Americans are killed by cars than by guns.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        More Americans are killed by cars than by guns.

        A rhetorical statement with no particular value. Not only is automobile safety a particularly important concern, the exposure rates are quite different. How would you even control for the fact that the average American is around a functioning automobile at a rate far exceeding that of being around even a holstered firearm?

        I swear, it is like people just sputter useless facts without thinking.

    • ... ban semi/automatic weapons in the first place...

      Because this sophisticated approach has worked so well for preventing the use of recreational drugs...

      Anyway, kudos to the scientists who are hacking around the ban on selling blood, but speaking of bans, we need to get rid of the ban on selling blood. Coincidentally, my team and I were working through a protocol two weeks ago to use a blockchain-based bloodbank protocol to allow this to be done safely and to improve public health and reduce Medicaid spen

    • Earlier this week I tried looking to see if there had ever been a challenge to the National Firearms Act that reached the Supreme Court. I was expecting to find something but I didn't, which is surprising. Maybe there has been a challenge, I'd like to know what it was and the outcome of it. I would be quite interested in knowing it because we do know that since the founding of the country, private individuals had owned artillery pieces without problem.

      Events in Las Vegas are useful for bringing light to an

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        We could address almost all of these issues with a stronger social safety net. Parents who don't have to work 2 or 3 jobs would have more opportunity to build family bonds instead of letting their kids look for family on the street. The number one cause of marital stress is financial in nature.
        I also think we should ban handguns or limit them severely.
      • An outright ban on guns but there's no topic or discussion of even proposing a Constitutional amendment to repeal or modify the 2nd amendment.

        You haven't been paying attention. That's precisely what Hillary has been yowling for in the aftermath of Las Vegas.

  • by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Thursday October 05, 2017 @06:07PM (#55318195) Homepage

    ...specifically requires mass tragedy to create the synthetic blood? Is it some Fullmetal Alchemist "Law of Equivalent Exchange" type thing?

    • Because stored whole blood has a finite life expectancy.

      A Mass tragedy of the type in Vegas requires large amounts of all blood types in a very short period of time, which wipes out the normal amount that is stored on site.
      This means getting in Donors or blood from other areas.

      A Synthetic blood is hope to have a long shelf life (years not months) and be universal, suitable for all patients. Which means larger volumes can be stored locally without the worry of date expiration.

      A better option that wor
      • And while you try and become a civilized country, try the metric system, even in the USA I think most of you can count to 10

        I can count to ten, I'm way ahead on the conversion to metric. I have my 9mm Luger, 10mm Auto, and 7.62 NATO. I'm keeping my .45 ACP though, there's some family history behind that.

        Anyone that thinks gun bans will work to reduce gun ownership or violent crime is insane. There's enough people with scrap metal, CNC mills, and time to make working firearms on their own. Oh, and ammunition too. What is the government going to do about it? Things changed since this "assault weapon" nonsense started 30 or s

        • you forgot to add that all of them are building nuclear reactors in their backyards.

        • I hope this is copypasta and you didn't waste your time typing this all out.
    • In general, there are two groups that need this technology, hospitals in poor countries, and hospitals in wealthy countries that experience disasters. Poor countries (generally) can't pay for this kind of research, so wealthy countries need to have disasters to prod advancement. I will note that Romania is home to one of the research efforts and they aren't exactly wealthy, but they are an order of magnitude more wealthy than say, Chad.
  • His name is Allan Doctor? I guess his career was a foregone conclusion.
  • Gun manufacturers, blood manufacturers, and stock manufacturers. Any other shares I should invest in?

I just asked myself... what would John DeLorean do? -- Raoul Duke