Technique to convert blood types could end shortages
Monday 02 April 2007
Scientists have developed a simple method of converting blood from one group to another.
The breakthrough could potentially mean the end of blood shortages by boosting much-needed supplies of group O negative blood. That blood type is known as "universal" because it can be given to anyone. Giving patients the wrong blood type can result in death.
Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, an international team of researchers described how they converted blood from group A, B or AB to group O. The process uses bacterial enzymes as biological "scissors" to cut sugar molecules from the surface of red blood cells.
People in groups A and B have blood containing one of two different sugar molecules which can trigger an immune response. Those in group O have neither of these "antigens", while those in group AB have both.
The scientists, led by Professor Henrik Clausen, from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, started by screening 2,500 types of fungi and bacteria looking for useful proteins.
Two bacteriums, Elizabethkingia meningosepticum, and Bacteroides fragilis, yielded enzymes capable of removing both A and B antigens from red blood cells.
That was verified by standard laboratory tests. After an hour's exposure to the appropriate enzyme, the antigens vanished from 200 millilitre samples of A, B and AB blood.
The researchers wrote: "Clinical translation of this approach may allow improvement of the blood supply and enhancement of patient safety in transfusion medicine."
Patient trials will have to take place before group O blood produced by the conversion method can be used in hospitals.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...