An End to Blood Donations?

Blood banks frequently run low and someday we might not need blood banks at all. Researchers in Boston say we might be able to make all the blood we need from stem cells.

But Hematologist Dr. Harinder Juneja at the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth says don't stop rolling up your sleeves just yet.

"The blood donations should still keep coming for years," tells NewsRadio 740 KTRH. "We would encourage everybody to go donate."

Dr. Juneja says we're going to need to make a lot of blood cells for this to replace blood banks.

"The first thing to see is if other people can reproduce what these scientists have done and then the major thing will be upscaling it to the extent of gaining all of the blood cells we need."

Unlike with other stem cell research, Dr. Juneja says he doesn't expect protests over this technology.

"You're actually giving a product that doesn't carry the DNA material in the cells, so you'll be using anuclear cells, cells without nuclei, and therefore the transmission of any genetic materials that can become persistent or established in the recipient is much less likely."

So far this has only been tested with mice but researchers hope to begin testing with humans soon.

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