Artificial blood ‘will be manufactured in factories’
It is the stuff of gothic science fiction: men in white coats in factories of blood and bones.
But the production of blood on an industrial scale could become a reality once a trial is conducted in which artificial blood made from human stem cells is tested in patients for the first time.
It is the latest breakthrough in scientists’ efforts to re-engineer the body, which have already resulted in the likes of 3d-printed bones and bionic limbs.
Marc Turner, the principal researcher in the £5 million programme funded by the Wellcome Trust, told The Telegraph that his team had made red blood cells fit for clinical transfusion.
Prof Turner has devised a technique to culture red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells – cells that have been taken from humans and ‘rewound’ into stem cells. Biochemical conditions similar to those in the human body are then recreated to induce the iPS cells to mature into red blood cells – of the rare universal blood type O.
“Although similar research has been conducted elsewhere, this is the first time anybody has manufactured blood to the appropriate quality and safety standards for transfusion into a human being,” said Prof Turner.
There are plans in place for the trial to be concluded by late 2016 or early 2017, he said. It will most likely involve the treatment of three patients with Thalassaemia, a blood disorder requiring regular transfusions. The behaviour of the manufactured blood cells will then be monitored.
“The cells will be safe,” he said, adding that there are processes whereby cells can be removed.
The technique highlights the prospect of a limitless supply of manufactured type-O blood, free of disease and compatible with all patients.
“Although blood banks are well-stocked in the UK and transfusion has been largely safe since the Hepatitis B and HIV infections of the 1970s and 1980s, many parts of the world still have problems with transfusing blood,” said Prof Turner.
However, scaling up the process to meet demand will be a challenge, as Prof Turner’s laboratory conditions are not replicable on an industrial scale. “A single unit of blood contains a trillion red blood cells. There are 2 million units of blood transfused in the UK each year,” he said.
Currently, it costs approximately £120 to transfuse a single unit of blood. If Prof Turner’s technique is scaled up efficiently, it could substantially reduce costs.
Dr Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said: “One should not underestimate the challenge of translating the science into routine procedures for the clinic. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the challenge Professor Turner and colleagues have set out to address, which is to replace the human blood donor as the source of supply for life-saving transfusions.”
For the moment, factories of blood remain the stuff of fiction.
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Anita (Ardmore, PA) | “Guyanese-American”
“‘Negro’ certainly is a passé term from way back when. We got over ‘Negro,’ we got to be ‘Black and Proud,’ and I’m still Black and proud. I always liked the term ‘Black’ because it doesn’t leave people out. I find ‘Black’ a more encompassing term than ‘African-American.’ ‘African-American’ leaves me out in a way.”
Rosa (Bronx, NY) | “Black Puerto Rican”
“You have a lot of incredible Afro-Latino activists who still don’t say that they’re Black. What they say is that they’re ‘African-descended.’ They say they’re ‘Afro-Latino.’ But a lot of people still won’t say that they’re Black. I think most of people’s issue with calling themselves Black is psychological. It’s fear. If you don’t have to be Black, why would you want to say that? In this country, everything Black is negative. I didn’t start calling myself Black until I was a sophomore in college. But once I learned about the power of the Young Lords and the Black Power Movement, I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t I want to say I was Black?’”
Kenya (Atlanta, GA) | “Black”
“As an African-American, many of us trace White blood in our lineage to slavery and my family background is no different. The bottom line is my parents are Black, their parents are Black, my great grandparents are Black, and that makes me Black. I know there are people who are looking and thinking ‘She’s not Black.’ And that’s fine too. At the end of the day, I’m Black because I’m Black.”
Marianna (Baltimore, MD) | “Black“
“I get ‘exotic’ a lot ‘cause people can’t really pinpoint. ‘Is she Dominican?’ ‘Is she Trini?’ ‘Is she Black and Filipino?’ ‘Is she Black and Japanese?’ It’s almost like they can’t tell so that’s alluring. All they know is it’s not ‘just Black’ and that’s all that matters. They think it’s ‘Black and something,’ but it’s that ‘something’ that they’re more focused on and that holds their attention a little bit more.”
Ariel (Brooklyn, New York) | “Black”
“In Cuba, some people don’t see me as Black. Even Black people will deny my Blackness. Since I was a child, people gave me different names like ‘el chino’ because when I was younger I was really looking more like a Chinese. And then they called me names connected with my race and my ethnicity like ‘mulatto’ or ‘moro.’ They tried to emphasize that I was different because my skin is Black, but my hair is ‘White.’ So for many people in Cuba, I am mulatto or I am interracial – they don’t consider me Black. I think it goes back to the plantation days when slaves had a child with the owner, and for being less dark, that child would have a better job and a better position in society. Cuba has a long history of Whiteness in that sense – many Black people consider themselves as moving forward in society when they marry somebody White or when their kids are less dark.”
Soledad (New York, NY) | “Black Latina”
“People ask me ‘What are you?’ all the time. People tweet me that question. I used to take great offense, like immediately get annoyed; partly because I didn’t think the question came from a very good place. I think I read it as questioning my value and my reasons for being wherever I was. But now, I think it’s two-fold: One, I think that because I’m a journalist, people are really just trying to understand who I am. ‘You’re somebody I see on TV, but I don’t know you in person, so who are you?’ So often, it’s not really about the question. It’s about ‘What side are you on?’ and ‘What perspective do you bring?’ Then two, I think that part of my job as a journalist is to educate people about stories and some of these stories I’m a part of. I’m part of ‘Black in America’ even in the context of who is the filter of the story. So I’ve really gotten much better at taking that question and I’ve stopped hating it so much. It’s my job to elaborate and explain for people who I am. My mom is Afro-Cuban. My dad is White and Australian. I’m Black. I’m Latina.”
Malene(Brooklyn, NY) | “Black of Mixed Heritage”
“Trinidad is a cosmopolitan nation, probably more racially diverse than the rest of the Caribbean. We have descendants of European enslavers, freed Africans and enslaved Africans, Chinese and other Asian migrants, and a small East Indian population. You have all these mixtures and the mixtures are acknowledged. So I’m not Black in Trinidad; they consider me to be Chinese creole. They use all kinds of terms to identify people based on their racial makeup – ‘Indian,’ ‘negro,’ ‘creole,’ ‘Chinese creole,’ ‘Spanish,’ ‘coolie,’ ‘dougla.’ A ‘coolie,’ for example, is an East Indian. ‘Dougla’ is the mix of Black and East Indian. There’s really no difference between the two. It’s like saying ‘nigger’ and ‘nigga.’ To me, it’s all offensive. All of it comes from hateful places.”
“In Brasil, people of my color can be considered either Black or White, but it would depend on the situation, and it would also depend on the social and educational condition of the people who are seeing you. So what happens is that when someone of lower socioeconomic status sees me, they would treat me as White. But if I go to a high-class restaurant, where the people are of a higher status than me, people treat me as Black. Usually the general thought for Brasilians is that the place for Black people is in the kitchen or on the soccer field or in samba. So if you are not in one of those places, it’s like ‘Who are you and who allowed you to be here?’ And you can feel it.”
Adrian (Brooklyn, NY) | “Black Puerto-Rican”
“I think part of the misconception about Blackness is that it’s a skin color. For me personally, it’s just my way of life. Whether it’s my bloodline and family history, or the neighborhood I grew up in and the people I grew up with, or something as simple as the food that I eat, there’s so many different ways that I can identify with Blackness to where if somebody were to ask me, “Adrian, what makes you Black?” I would probably just counter the question with, “What doesn’t make me Black?” It’s not even something that I’m trying to prove. It’s just in me.”
Lauren (Philadelphia, PA) | “Black and Italian / African-American“
“The one-drop rule is not about letting society tell you who you are, but about understanding the structures around you that are already in place. It’s about understanding the complexities of Black identity and how you fit into that. At the same time, it doesn’t take away from your individuality and the beauty of your personal background or our collective history.”
- it’s okay for you to like skinny girls
- it’s okay for you to like skinny girls with big boobs and a butt
- it’s okay for you to like curvy girls
- it’s okay for you to like heavier girls
- it’s totally okay to like thighs or thigh gaps and big boobs or small boobs and big butts or little butts
- what’s not okay is telling a woman that she isn’t beautiful or sexy because she doesn’t meet your personal body type preferences
An innovative ring system to convert Sign language to speech.
"Here’s how the rings work, in a nutshell. There are three detatchable rings that are worn on the the thumb and first two fingers of each hand, as well as a bracelet. As the user signs out whatever they want to say, the translation is then spoken through a digitized voice that comes from the bracelet. I’m not sure if it works real time or not, but that’s still some pretty amazing stuff. And that’s not all…
"The gesture-to-speak aspect works fine when the hearing-impaired person wants to talk to someone else, but what about vice versa? The bracelet carries the double duty of turning sound into text that runs across an LED display. It seems like the only thing these guys have left to do is actually make people hear again…"
At 23, many people around the world are still at university — at that age, Gossy Ukanwoke had already started one.
The X-men comics were literally a metaphor for racism and xenophobia. This is meaningful because it is meant to be powerful and an accessible metaphor for nearly anyone who has ever felt maligned for reasons beyond their control.
it’s official, me and synthetic hair hate each other.
but i do not want to take all these braids out unless i HAVE to sooo
hopefully the acv works well enough. please work
Me and synthetic hair can’t deal. Tried it 3times since going natural… My scalp was maaaad.
Caruso Steam Rollers
"Steam rollers are advertised as a more gentle alternative to hot rollers! Here’s a quick demo of the Caruso Steam Rollers on my natural hair and my initial thoughts! Enjoy the vid! And I hope it helps!"