Blood has been grown artificially in the lab from human embryonic stem cells. The research was done at Advanced Cell Technology, with researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Up to 65% of the cells resulting from the process matured to the point where they shed their nucleus, taking on the distinctive doughnut shape of red blood cells.
The team still has plenty of work to do. One question: do the resulting cells have enough globin to carry oxygen? Also, human beings are remarkably efficient in producing cheap blood in quantity; fourteen million pints are used every year in transfusions.
Early next week (09/08/2008), American television audiences will get a taste of Tru Blood, a TV series based on the work of Charlaine Harris, set in a small Louisiana town. After Japanese synthetic blood hits the market, humans and vampires coexist for the first time. I'm sure you'll enjoy the following Tru Blood video.
(Tru Blood beverage video - this blood's for you)
Sink your teeth into these other artificial blood stories: