Thursday, June 16, 2005

Scientists Learn To Make Blood From Stem Cells

From Reuters:

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australian scientists say they have found a way to make blood cells in volume out of human master cells, which could eventually lead to production of safe blood cells for transfusions and organ transplants. Synthetically produced red blood cells would, in theory, overcome the concerns about dangerous infections that can be transmitted from blood donors to patients worldwide.

But researchers said it would probably take years for scientists to get to the stage where blood cells could be made in large enough quantities for transfusions.

"What would be nice is if it opens the possibility for the future of making large quantities of blood cells in a controlled environment which could be used to treat patients," said Andrew Elefanty, who led the research at Monash University in Melbourne.

Writing in the U.S. journal Blood, the researchers said they were able to turn human embryonic stem cells into red and white blood cells using a system that makes more blood cells more rapidly and more safely, with fewer animal ingredients, than others have done.

"The other thing we think is important is that the way we've made the cells develop into blood is something which could be applied to other types of cells as well," Elefanty told Reuters.

The team's system was able to stimulate the stem cells specifically into becoming red or white cells.

Note that line that says, "the way we've made the cells develop into blood is something which could be applied to other types of cells as well." What that means, and this is the exciting thing about stem cell research, is that scientists are discovering how to turn stem cells into the cells of various components of the body. In other words, they are learning to grow organs. This will mean that they will learn how to replace those parts of your body which break down.

Eventually, they will learn how to make your body do this spontaneously.

The aging process will change into something very different from what it is now. The reason you die is because everytime your body reproduces itself (when cells split), it reproduces an inferior copy of itself. Cells generated from stem cells are original cells. They are as close to new and perfect as the human body gets.

It appears that eventually scientists will learn to achieve something that will look like the indefinate prolongation of human life. Some humans may live hundreds and even thousands of years. That will give an awful lot of time to create mischief, huh?

We are no longer in the Postmodern age. We live in the age of the Prefuture.