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.
Arsenal 1 Everton 1: Substitute equalises with six minutes to go
food + drinkMichelin-starred Tom Sellers on being this year's hottest property
booksGeese, gorillas, grandads... and growing up
tvParents (and kids) rejoice! A new wave of fantastic family entertainment is here
food + drinkHow one grocery e-tailer is gearing up for the Yuletide rush
food + drink
Nelson Mandela: 11 inspirational quotes to live your life by
Queen to miss Nelson Mandela funeral over security and long-haul flight concerns
'Never a good time to increase MPs' pay': Jack Straw defends politicians' 11% pay rise in face of public outrage
10 stone five-year-old taken into care
Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- 1 Hundreds arrested as Canadian police smash worldwide paedophile ring
- 2 Sherlock series 3: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman provide teasers for the biggest comeback in British television
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- 5 Japan cracks down on leaks after scandal of Fukushima nuclear power plant
- < Previous
- Next >
£80000 - £100000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior C++ De...
£25000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C++ Server Dev...
£300 - £350 per day: Harrington Starr: Leading Electronic Trading Software Ven...
£23999 - £32001 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: An independent ac...