Artificial human blood could make medicine a whole lot easier — with no more blood drives or inefficient blood matching and possible harmful immune responses to blood transfusions. But until we perfect a way to grow human blood instead of siphoning it out of other people’s veins, we’re stuck with a somewhat tricky supply chain of a vital fluid. Researchers and vampires are very interested in the field of blood, and if you’re not too queasy, check out these links.
- Maybe you think you know your specific blood type: it’s A, B, AB or O with some positive or negative thing. Well, blood genomics can get a lot more specific than that. More than 300 blood proteins exist, and 35 of them seem to be medically important so far. Tests on blood DNA could more precisely describe people’s blood types, but it’s not clear yet how much all these variations matter. [url]
- Some rare blood types are more valuable than others. Only a few dozen people with Rhnull blood (aka the golden blood) are known, and their blood is an extraordinarily ‘universal’ blood type that can be donated to a wide population of people because it doesn’t trigger an immune response. (On the downside, the people with this blood type have very few donors available to them.) [url]
- Human blood is red, and so is most of the blood from animals that people commonly see. However, some other animals can have blue, green or purple blood. So if you thought Klingon blood was a ridiculous color, think again? [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.