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Genetically modified rice created to produce human blood


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Genetically modified rice created to produce human blood

Grains of rice have been genetically modified by scientists so they produce a key component of human blood in an attempt to provide an alternative to donations.

The protein, extracted from rice plants containing human genes, could be used in hospitals to treat burns victims and help patients who have suffered severe blood loss.

The scientists behind the research claim it will provide a plentiful and safe alternative to products from human blood donations, which are in short supply due to falling numbers of donors, and get around the need to screen for diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

Currently in the UK around 1.6 million pints of blood are needed every year but just four per cent of the eligible population donate.

Donated blood is separated into three components - red blood cells, platlets, which are used to aid blood clotting, and plasma, which is mainly made up of a protein called Human Serum Albumin and is given to patients suffering heavy blood loss.

By growing the genetically modified rice in fields, the researchers claim Human Serum Albumin could be mass produced for use in hospitals, reducing the need to purify it from blood donations.

"Currently commercial production of HSA is primarily based on collected human plasma, which is limited in supply, but of high clinical demand.

"There is also an increasing public health concern with plasma derived HSA with its potential risk for transmission of blood-derived infectious pathogens such as hepatitis and HIV.

full article

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8871899/Genetically-modified-rice-created-to-produce-human-blood.html

Interesting...especially about the low donations of blood in the UK...the way some people go on about having blood transfusions you think a lot more people would be donating...

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Lack of Blood supply is also a big problem in France, the News talked about it today... as France is going to buy blood from its neighbour (Switzerland).

It would be better to use this money for research on Alternatives :shifty:

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We have the same here in the USA. We are always hearing about the low blood supply and how we need to get out and donate. Their catchy propaganda slogan is "Give life".

So, being that Human Serum Albumin is found in genetically modified rice, does this make Human Serum Albumin a component/fragment that would fall within the realm of personal conscience, regardless of the source?

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