Scientists develop way to create blood from human skin

The new technique, developed by researchers at the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University in Canada, involves using cells from a patch of a person’s skin and transforming it directly into blood that is a genetic match.

The method looks far more promising as it avoids the controversial and more complicated processes of using human embryonic stem cells to create blood, LiveScience reported. Avoiding the stem cell stage also means that researchers can now make far larger quantities of blood cells, because they avoid the conversion inefficiency of going to and from the stem cell stage.

“What we believe we can do in the future is generate blood in a much more efficient manner,” said Mick Bhatia, scientific director of the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University.Bhatia’s team changed skin into blood several times over two years.

They also used human skin from both young and old alike to prove that it works for any age of person.Clinical trials could begin as soon as 2012.

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