For the first time in medical history, scientists have been able to develop blood stem cells in a laboratory. The researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have succeeded in their efforts and they believe that it is a breakthrough that will help further research and can also lead to commercial production of artificial blood.
The idea of creating artificial blood has been on the minds of medical scientists for a long time and they have also made efforts in the direction but for the first time, they have succeeded in their attempts. According to New Scientist, researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College have created stem cells in a lab and they believe that in future these cells could be used to treat diseases like leukemia and other diseases that require blood transfusion.
Notably, a team of scientists began with pluripotent human stem cells and then they looked for chemicals that could help these cells translate into blood stem cells. After some study, the scientists figured out five proteins that can do this. The tests on mice showed production of white and red blood cells along with platelets.
Another team also endeavored in the same direction and they used stem cells of adult mice, walls of their lungs, to be precise. Upon further research, they found out four factors that can stimulate the lung stem cells to make the blood cells. However, the study is still in nascent stage and it would take some time before it could be used on people.
Though the mice did not show any negative sign during the experiment, there are chances of mutation in the cells that could cause cancer. Also, these cells lag behind the cells of the human body when it comes to making blood. Nevertheless, the experiment is a major breakthrough for medical science as it could pave the way for the production of artificial blood and remove the hassle of blood donation.