Test hope for artificial blood

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ARTIFICIAL blood created from stem cells could be tested on people in the UK within two years, according to researchers from Edinburgh University.

The scientists behind the research, which could provide industrial-scale quantities of blood, believe it will transform transfusions by preventing hospital shortages, and save thousands of lives on battlefields and at the scene of car crashes.

Heart transplant, bypass and cancer patients would also benefit from having a guaranteed supply of blood on hand for their surgery.

The hope comes from Edinburgh and Bristol university researchers who have, for the first time, made billion of red blood cells from stem cells – “master cells” seen as a repair kit for the body – from bone marrow.

Edinburgh’s Professor Marc Turner hopes to make a supply of cells with the O-negative blood type. This “universal” blood could be given to up to 98 per cent of the population.