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  1.  (9159.1)
    Scientists turn skin into blood cells
    Sun Nov 7, 1:07 PM
    By Sheryl Ubelacker, Health Reporter, The Canadian Press

    TORONTO - In a scientific feat that almost defies imagination, Canadian researchers have transformed human skin into different types of blood cells.

    The achievement by McMaster University scientists is being hailed as a breakthrough that could one day help patients needing transfusions for surgery, to treat potentially deadly blood disorders or to offset the destructive side-effects of chemotherapy.

    But it also raises the possibility that other cell types, such as neurons to repair brains damaged by disease or injury, could also be directly induced and grown in the lab using a mere scrap of a person's own skin.

    Principal investigator Mick Bhatia, scientific director of McMaster's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute, said his team was able to produce oxygen-carrying red blood cells, two kinds of immune cells and the cells that produce platelets needed for clotting.

    More in the link.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2010
    That's clever: but how is it directly useful? A person has, about 100 grams of red blood cells? So to grow replacements for a person's blood cells, would you need to take hundreds of grams of their skin? Or can they clone skin cells, but not blood cells? Or do they need less than 100 grams of product to be useful?
  2.  (9159.3)
    I imagine they'd culture a large amount of someone's skin and use it to convert into blood cells..
    • CommentAuthorgzapata
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2010
    I'm not sure how practical this is (granted I read this somewhere else and not this exact article) but it seems to me the ability to do the exact opposite would be more useful.
  3.  (9159.5)
    I think the fastest and best application for such a technology would likely be in leukemia patients. The ability to make red blood cells isn't as remarkable as the ability to make immune cells. That'll be where this is useful.

    It's not going to replace bone marrow donation, but it might help while the patient waits for a transplant.
  4.  (9159.6)
    3-D flesh printers, just you wait. Four little cartridges of GATC in stock at your local med-supplies store.
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2010
    Ah, printer cartridge refill hell.

    "Dammit. All out of A, and only half down on the T!"
    "Do they still sell cartridges for my brand of printer?"
    "Stupid print heads. They always dry out and need cleaning!"
    • CommentAuthorOxbrow
    • CommentTimeNov 8th 2010
    No word yet on how vampires feel about the flavour.