An initial shipment of Pharmed blood, mass-produced synthetic blood for transfusions, has been sent off by Arteriocyte, an Ohio-based biotech firm capitalized by DARPA.
The blood was produced using hematopoietic cells, derived from embryonic cord-blood units. Currently, it takes Arteriocyte scientists three days to turn a single umbilical cord unit into 20 units of RBC-packed blood. The average soldier needs six units during trauma treatment.
“We’re basically mimicking bone marrow in a lab environment,” company CEO Don Brown tells Wired. “Our model works, but we need to extrapolate our production abilities to make scale.”
There is a recent science-fictional reference to this idea. In the fall of 2008, American television audiences got their first 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, as well as the series, which is set for a 2009 season.
(Tru Blood beverage video - this blood's for you)
Via Wired; thanks to Will H. for submitting the story tip.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/14/2010)