Blood shortages for transfusions may become a thing of the past if a revolutionary (and controversial) process being developed by British scientists works out.
The news was released yesterday that a team of researchers are on target to create unlimited quantities of “synthetic” human blood from embryonic stem cells. The goal is to obtain the cells from donor embryos that have the rare, but universally compatible O-negative blood type. Once the cells are brought into the laboratory they can be multiplied indefinitely. While the benefits of this plan are obvious – including the fact that this blood would be free of any kind of infections – there are still legal and ethical issues to be dealt with before the research project can go on.