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.
- 1 If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 2 David De Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper's £29m move to Real Madrid off - because paperwork 'not done in time'
- 3 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 4 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 5 New Apple TV release date and price: streaming box and games console will launch in October
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Auschwitz museum defends mist showers installed during heat wave after visitor complains they are reminiscent of gas chambers
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent agency with br...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This specialist consultancy pro...
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting new opportunity has...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...