Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blood Transfusion Breakthrough

If you're critically injured and in need of a blood transfusion, it's not as simple as grabbing a pint from the cooler and tapping a vein. The blood type has to match yours. Otherwise, there's a danger that cells could "clump together" and cause problems. This according to a report at ABC.net.au news, which looks at a solution for this complication.

The solution, developed by "an international team of scientists" synthesizes a universal blood type using a special enzyme. Yes, type O blood is universal, but it's rare. So having a way to synthesize a universal blood type has a lot of potential upside.

What's a blood type anyway? Basically, the difference between types A, B, AB and O is the type of "agglutinogen" molecule found on a blood cell's surface. The aforementioned enzyme strips agglutinogen from all cells, thus creating a safe, universal type for all recipients.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.