- State declares test results for schools invalid (10/4/17)2
- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- Child-custody advocate: State law needs fix to provide parents with more equal custody (10/12/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- The last person to be laid to rest at Old Lorimier Cemetery: Mary Russell Fox (10/17/17)2
Stem-cell advance may add to blood supplies
NEW YORK -- Scientists say they've found an efficient way to make red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, a possible step toward making transfusion supplies in the laboratory.
The promise of a virtually limitless supply is tantalizing because of blood donor shortages and disappointments in creating blood substitutes.
Red blood cells are a key component of blood because they carry oxygen throughout the body.
Experts called the new work an advance, but cautioned that major questions had yet to be answered.
The research, published online Tuesday by the journal Blood, was reported by scientists at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass., the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The researchers said the cells they made behaved like natural red blood cells in lab tests, and that their process could be used in large-scale production. The results suggest that embryonic stem cells could someday supply type O-negative "universal donor" red cells for transfusion, they wrote.
Mohandas Narla, director of the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute at the New York Blood Center, called the results "a very good start."
Now it will be important to show that the complex lab process really can pump out red cells on a large scale, and that the cells will survive long enough in the human body to be useful, he said. Natural red cells circulate for an average of 120 days.