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Scientists Turn Skin Into Blood

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the horror-movie dept.

Biotech 229

Breakthru writes "In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make human blood from adult human skin. The discovery, published in the prestigious science journal Nature today, could mean that in the foreseeable future people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. Clinical trials could begin as soon as 2012."

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This should make vampires happy! (1, Insightful)

WolphFang (1077109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158676)

This should make vampires happy!

Another Nail... (1, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158734)

Embryonic Stem Cell Research has yet another nail pounded into its coffin.

Of course people will still support it as some kind of political statement.

Re:Another Nail... (2, Insightful)

WolphFang (1077109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158766)

Indeed. Now just to get the MEDIA to stop mixing them up. :(

Re:Another Nail... (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158770)

Even if it is a replacement, we're still years behind where we would be if the hicks didn't insist that we throw out the unused embryos. The reality is that we've got plenty of embryonic stem cells available without creating any more. Which really ought to be where the morals come into it. As it stands we're destroying the extra stem cells from IVF instead of using them because the right won't allow scientists to use them.

Re:Another Nail... (0, Flamebait)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158800)

And here is our first political supporter.

Re:Another Nail... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158838)

You were the one who started to be political about this. So don't complain.

Re:Another Nail... (1)

NoSig (1919688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158864)

Reading comprehension, I recommend it.

Re:Another Nail... (4, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158830)

Both sides of that argument had a lot of wrong impressions and misunderstandings. Using embryonic stem cells wan't directly about treatment, it was about research, there were properties that they wanted to understand. The biomedical community needed to learn how they work so that that knowledge can be used as a baseline to compare treatments. Interviewees on Science Friday did a pretty good job of explaining what they were looking for and why embryonic stem cells were desired for research. As for treatment though, I don't think ESC were ever going to be used in treatments except for very limited trials.

Re:Another Nail... (2, Informative)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159338)

Your last point is incorrect. True that much of the interest was in basic research (human ESCs were first isolated in 1998), but genuine therapies using ESCs are underway and more are imminent. Due to the ridiculous controversy, progress was made to develop induced pluripotent cells from autologous sources (say from skin) but the methods used rendered them unsuitable for the clinic. Recently developed iRNA techniques make them safer and more efficient, however the iPSCs tendency to revert back to their original tissue type still makes clinical use uncertain.

For now ESCs remain the gold standard for clinical and research use, despite the allograft challenge. I am hoping to participate in a trial myself.

Re:Another Nail... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158870)

Dear Hedwards, please see my comment accidentally posted under the vampire thread above.

As for having lots of dead babies lying around "going to waste", that is like saying "Seem's like a shame to let all these dead Jews go to waste. I mean we ARE standing in Auschwitz and all that. If only it weren't for those damn Allies."

You cold hearted piece of sewage.

Re:Another Nail... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159038)

Yes, well, even a Jew is more human than an embryo, if just barely. Now a nigger, I'm not so sure. I believe it's ok to kill them for their stem cells. It's for the greater good and all that, because the only good nigger is a...

Re:Another Nail... (2, Insightful)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158926)

Even if it is a replacement, we're still years behind where we would be if the hicks didn't insist that we throw out the unused embryos. The reality is that we've got plenty of embryonic stem cells available without creating any more. Which really ought to be where the morals come into it. As it stands we're destroying the extra stem cells from IVF instead of using them because the right won't allow scientists to use them.

Yes, because research is only done in the USA, no one else has the will or facilities to do any experiments.

Re:Another Nail... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159012)

That's true, but people also complain about how the US is falling behind in everything. Well, if we didn't have the idiotic moral baggage of the politically grandstanding a-blowjob-is-grounds-for-impeachment-but-lying-to-the-country-to-invade-a-sovereign-nation-that-the-UN-was-handling-just-fine of the religious right in this country, we might actually get some much-needed research done to increase the life expectancies of the entire world. So, it's either we follow the overly righteous idiots so we don't piss them off but we don't get any medical research done, or we carefully and dispassionately try to do research on the basic building blocks of the human body so we can contribute to the lives and wellbeing of our children. But, it's not like people in this country haven't wanted conflicting things before.

Re:Another Nail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159042)

I smell a sore loser.

Or maybe just a loser.

Re:Another Nail... (4, Funny)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159128)

Then you should probably shower more often.

Re:Another Nail... (-1, Troll)

Kurofuneparry (1360993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158956)

Full disclosure: I'm a medical student and researcher and an opponent of a number of forms of IVF stem cell research

I certainly agree that morality is primarily concerned with research driven creation of embryos.

However, myself and a large number of my collages opposed embryonic research. Ignoring valid arguments and charging opponents with being 'hicks' just undercuts your arguments. On the topic of your arguments, certainly some avenues of research would be further if embryonic research was available, but I'm not convinced that we would be better off. For example, the paths of research that produced this discovery in the article are further along precisely because embryonic research has met with ethical concerns.

Then again.... I'm an idiot.......

Re:Another Nail... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159018)

You are an idiot. I'm sick of the fundamentalist Christians getting their claws into the medical profession.

Why? Because Christians can't make up their own mind, they just get "the Church" to decide what is right and wrong for them. Who, with any brain, would allow a corporation to do this for them?

If you're not rational enough to be an atheist, you should not be allowed into medical school.

Re:Another Nail... (1, Flamebait)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159046)

Here's a conundrum for you ass-wipe. I'm an atheist, my degree is biology and I oppose embryonic stem cell research. It's not needed.

Re:Another Nail... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159350)

Unless thats a PhD you're opinion is irrelevant.

Re:Another Nail... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159058)

For example, the paths of research that produced this discovery in the article are further along precisely because embryonic research has met with ethical concerns.

Dude, imagine if we decided that skin was sacred and stopped this treatment on arbitrary ethical concerns. Then there would be OTHER areas of medical technology that would be further along! But what if we decided they were unethical too?! Think of all the cool shit that could be researched! Far out, man!

Re:Another Nail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159400)

Actually, that's not true. Forcing us to use other methods of obtaining stem cells (other than from embryos) is the pressure that led to the development of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (derived from adult tissue instead of embryos) and eventually what TFA talks about - converting skin cells directly into blood cells without the in-between step of converting them into stem cells.

IMHO 2012 is way too optimistic. Being able to characterize these transformed blood cells as completely stable and safe seems likely to take several more years.

Re:Another Nail... (2, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159650)

Actually, this doesn't reprogram the cells to be IPS cells. It's a direct conversion, per the actual article from the actual source [nature.com] .

One advantage of direct cell conversions is that unlike embryonic stem cells or IPS cells stuck itno a human body, they're pretty sure these cells wouldn't be likely to cause tumors.

Re:Another Nail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158836)

In other news: with the invention of the 10-pointed star wheel the circular wheel has had another nail pounded into its coffin. Yay progress!

Re:Another Nail... (1, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158912)

Embryonic Stem Cell Research has yet another nail pounded into its coffin.

Of course people will still support it as some kind of political statement.

With the advent of the high-speed train, the automobile has had yet another nail pounded into it's coffin. Of course, people will still continue to buy them as some sort of political statement.

See how stupid you sound?

Re:Another Nail... (-1, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158920)

Sounds pretty stupid to me.

That's because it's a FAILED analogy. A stupid analogy too.

Re:Another Nail... (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159340)

Seems like a decent analogy to me. Just because we discover something new, it doesn't mean it will replace everything that does anything similar.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158828)

Screw whoever just called me a "hick".
We Americans executed Nazis for the hideous "crime against nature and humanity" called abortion.
Like it or not, this nation was founded by christians for such.
You pagans and baby-sacrificing devil worshippers are welcome to live here so long as you only carve up your own kids.
As for me, I FREAKIN LOVE the scientists who discovered this.
They actually complained that it is easy to use cells from the person's own body... something everyone has been saying.
They went on to say that the govt wants them to try it with fetal stems, but that it would be way harder, like another ten years.
WHY TRY? Because dead babies are big business. That's why your enslaved butt will never be given the vote on abortion.
Forget whether you are for or against it. You should clench your fist in rage that the elitist weasels in govt will NEVER let us rule ourselves and decide (state by state) whether we want abortion or not. That's called taxation without representation and is why we killed the British and felt good about ourselves. Screw the govt flunkies on the take from the following billion dollar corps which push abortion....

bio chip tech, abortion clinics, human experimenters who want to PRETEND they aren't using human pieces, cosmetic companies in need of collagen, etc etc etc.

Each of these alone is a BILLION dollar industry that will happily brainwash your daughter into killing your grandkid so they get the body.

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country did with your dead kid.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (3, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159214)

Dear Pathetic Concern Troll:

Sorry about your butthurt.

I suppose I should be sorry to tell you this, but America's founders were Deists, Unitarians, Atheists and Freemasons.

Scarcely the creme of "christianity".

Oh, also. Most Americans have no beef about using embryos for research that will help humanity. The research IS being done, despite your butthurt, in Europe and Asia, where christian lunatics have no say in the matter.

So, here's the deal. People like you are dying out. Every generation more and more people reject your 'religion'. Your book of the collected myths, fables and superstitions of bronze age nomadic desert herders and the death cults they belonged to, is ignored and rejected.

Sucks to be you.

For the rest of us, not so much.

kthnxbai!

Re:This should make vampires happy! (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159252)

Problem - religion in general is a clever meme. An ideology that controls people's reproduction can survive quite well. especially when it believes to be persecuted and claims underdog status (thus winning more supporters... funny thing human nature). These people don't believe in birth control, but are subject to the same sexual desires as the rest of us (no surprise - we're all human). So they'll breed more than the contraception-using, abortion-supporting atheist rationalists amoung us. What should we do? i suggest we try to outbreed them. or neuter them.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (2, Insightful)

x2A (858210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159406)

We don't really need to do anything. Our survival stems from our evolved ability to correctly attribute cause to effect, and therefore be able to control effects by controlling causes. As soon as you remove this ability (by claiming simply that the cause is "god dun it") you remove the ability to control reality, which means removing the ability of self preservation. This is why countries where religion isn't rampant are able to run themselves in a more sustained way, right across the board, you'll tend to find fewer boom/bust cycles, fewer wars, fewer enemies, more renewable energy sources. This is because you can't expect somebody to be irrational only when it comes to their religion; their ability to believe things without reason infects their entire decision making process, as does the ability to escape personal responsibility (submitting to "god's will" rather than exercising ones own will to solve problems).

Re:This should make vampires happy! (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159482)

neutering sounds like more fun though.

while i agree somewhat, cause -> effect is not the same as a belief system. in order to survive, we don't need to know the earth is round, and we can attribute the sun coming up every morning to either God or physics if we like - our ability to survive is not really affected, at least on a day to day level.

it's like the difference between common sense and logic. usually they are in agreement, but often they aren't. common sense is how we survive. logic is how we understand.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159492)

this thought process also makes for an easy lay, so it isn't all that bad ;)

Re:This should make vampires happy! (0)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158852)

Not really: they won't have anything to sink their teeth into.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (1)

WolphFang (1077109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158876)

Sure they would. The victim is slowly skinned, the skin being shoved into the blood converter, the output of the blood converter being input into the victim, from whence the vampire can sink his/her teeth into.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159020)

Why?? It means that they're now in direct competition with zombies! Previously it was a solids/liquids kinda thing. Now they'll have to fight over larger portions.

Re:This should make vampires happy! (0)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159104)

While I'm no vampire, I don't really see how they would be happy to see all their meals turned into zombies with skins turned into blood.

Sunlight? (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158680)

In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make human blood from adult human skin.

So not only will it clot, it can tan?

Re:Sunlight? (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158794)

This also in: scientists at McMasterbate University have discovered how to make human semen from adult foreskin.

Re:Sunlight? (1)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158802)

scientists at McGyver University

Another small victory for biotech (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158684)

While Space Nutters still run around in circles rehashing decades-old already done "science".

Just one minor complication. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158698)

That whole "walking around with no skin" situation could be a bit of a problem.

Re:Just one minor complication. (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158710)

That whole "walking around with no skin" situation could be a bit of a problem.

So you think walking around with no blood is preferable?

Re:Just one minor complication. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158886)

I think the idea is, you take someone _else's_ skin.

Re:Just one minor complication. (5, Informative)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158890)

From what I read in other articles not posted on slashdot, something like a 12x12 cm patch of skin is enough to create enough blood for a transfusion. That's about the same amount removed during normal grafting operations.

Link [healthzone.ca]

Re:Just one minor complication. (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159318)

Is that after 'growing' the skin to a larger size, like is done for burn victims or other skin graft recipients?

Also, if they could make the IV bag out of 'growing' skin, it would never run out of blood!

Re:Just one minor complication. (1)

hahn (101816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159628)

I know you didn't write this (it was in the article), but "create enough blood for a transfusion" is a meaningless statement. Depending on the medical situation, one could need anywhere between 1 bag of red blood cells (450 ml) to 20 bags of blood. In the Nature article that ColdWetDog linked, it states,

Converted cells aren't without their drawbacks, though. Unlike iPS and embryonic stem cells, they cannot easily multiply in the lab, so producing the large quantities needed for applications such as screening drugs could prove tough, says Wilmut (embryologist and director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh, UK)

As I suspected, differentiated cells such as skin will have limited ability to replicate. A 12 x 12 cm patch of skin doesn't have many cells compared to a standard 450 ml bag of packed RBC. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's impossible, I don't see how this is likely to be turned into a realistic and practical solution for the blood banks.

How much blood can "a patch of skin" provide? (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158714)

The article mentioned that it's a direct conversion from skin to blood... but I think a reasonable patch of skin wouldn't have enough volume of cells for a blood transfusion?

Re:How much blood can "a patch of skin" provide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158744)

Well, maybe the recipient doesn't have enough skin to provide adequate blood volume, but I am sure some unsuspecting skin donor has plenty to provide.

Mooowhhahhhhahahahahh!

I guess a blood bank would be easier, if less diabolical

Re:How much blood can "a patch of skin" provide? (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158750)

No, no, no. No even wrong. However, the idiot FA is so devoid of information that yours is a reasonable assumption. A better intro.

Useless note to Slashdot editors: Stay away from University PR Blurbs. A bigger waste of electrons than Fox News.

Re:How much blood can "a patch of skin" provide? (5, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158756)

Oops, sorry, a real link [nature.com] .

Re:How much blood can "a patch of skin" provide? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159172)

Maybe it is too late at night right now, but I don't see where the linked article addresses how large a skin sample has to be taken to produce enough for a blood transfusion. Could you elaborate (even if I'm "not even wrong")?

Re:How much blood can "a patch of skin" provide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159194)

It has enough, albeit you won't be able to sit for some time.

No time for a proper trolling (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158718)

So I'll just pop in and call you all fags. Shit eating fags.

Re:No time for a proper trolling (-1, Offtopic)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159102)

tl;dr

How much skin to make a pint of blood? (3, Interesting)

jomegat (706411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158742)

Just how much skin does it take to make a pint of blood? I would think a lot, but not having read the article, I wouldn't know.

Seems to me they invented the reverse of the process that's really needed. It's a lot harder to get enough skin for grafting than it is to get blood for transfusions. Wouldn't blood-to-skin be a better conversion?

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (3, Funny)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158746)

Just needs some reverse engineering.

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158784)

Not really. The blood banks are pretty much always a few days from running out because blood doesn't keep very well.

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (1)

jomegat (706411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158832)

True, but that still doesn't make skin easier to come by than blood.

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159156)

There's less need for donor skin, however. More people require blood during medical procedures than need skin, and usually more blood than skin is needed, even within a procedure that needs both. Furthermore, there's ways to keep a person alive with portions of skin missing. No blood is a little bit harder to deal with. During that extra time, you can culture their own skin, should they have any, or wait for a donor.

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159358)

More people require blood during medical procedures than need skin, and usually more blood than skin is needed, even within a procedure that needs both.

Only if you get a doctor who is unwilling, or rather I should say, incapable, of performing a bloodless operation. There are plenty of highly skilled doctors who are fully capable of doing that using a variety of techniques (cell salvage is the one that comes to mind at the moment).

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (1)

Braintrust (449843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158814)

I believe it would take a pint of skin. Give or take.

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158866)

I'd guess two pints. A link two threads up claims they were making red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets from the skin cells. Given that blood is 55% plasma (which itself is mostly water) it stands to reason that a 'pint' of skin makes two pints of blood - just add water! :)

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (5, Informative)

Kurofuneparry (1360993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158918)

A good question. The backwards conversion is impossible because the vast majority of blood cells are RBCs (Red Blood Cells or erythrocytes) and these have gotten rid of their nucleus, making them a cellular dead end doomed to destruction in about 120 days.

Also, blood is mostly free water (plasma) and when RBCs are created their progenitor cells divide many times in the production process. Assuming that this process they're using is similar, you're talking about impressive volume multiplication in the conversion from skin to blood.

Then again.... I'm an idiot .....

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (2, Interesting)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159028)

Mammal red blood cells lack a nucleus. This is, in general, not true for other vertebrate animals although there are a few exceptions which I cannot think of right now

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159086)

If you don't have enough skin, can't you just grow some more from the patch you have in a petri dish?

Re:How much skin to make a pint of blood? (2, Interesting)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159150)

You can grow skin in a lab - something you' aren't going to do with red blood cells. The "premature cellular aging" and "oh shit we used a made them cancer" also probably doesn't matter once you applied the magic to turn them into blood.

this will mean more unnecessary circumcisions. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159240)

There is already a not in the interest of the child push to persuade parents to allow circumcisions to gather skin for burn victims and the lucrative cosmetics trade, this will only add to the pressure to gather more. Infant skin is preferred because more can be grown from a sample because of the limit on how many times a non-cancerous human cell can divide.

Now we just have to figure out how to make skin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158754)

Aha...,

Re:Now we just have to figure out how to make skin (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158858)

Yes, going from blood->skin would be more useful. Especially for people with brittle skin who often have to go through painful skin grafts after losing areas of the skin from something as simple as bumping into a piece of furniture.

Re:Now we just have to figure out how to make skin (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159056)

No can do with red blood cells. No nucleus.

Re:Now we just have to figure out how to make skin (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159120)

No can do with red blood cells. No nucleus.

Never say never I think. Mammal red blood cells lack a nucleus, but this is not generally true for the red blood cells of other vertebrates. Why not engineer a solution that yields mammalian red blood cells with a nucleus? Considering what has already been done I don't see this as an impossibility.

Re:Now we just have to figure out how to make skin (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159170)

Because cross-species compatability even within mammals is really low, and the effort expended solving it would likely be better served in solving host vs. graft issues with people receiving donations from people, since that would increase life expectancy of donor recipients and broaden the pool of acceptable donor parts. Basically, you're right, it's not impossible, it's just more effort than it's currently worth.

Burn units (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159116)

That was my first thought too, but I was thinking of burn units. The reverse trick of turning blood into skin would be a godsend.

up side, has blood.. (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158764)

down side, FACE OFF!!

Soylent Red is made of PEOPLE (5, Funny)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158778)

So they'll be able to grind up people and use them for blood transfusions, right?

In Reverse? (1)

Gryphia (947956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158804)

As fascinating as it is scientifically, we've got blood transfusions more or less figured out. I'm curious if they'll figure out how to do the reverse, blood to skin. Right now, skin grafts are a rather painful processes, and it's hard to get enough skin for them. Going the other way seems like it would be much more useful.

Re:In Reverse? (1)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159304)

I'll get Ben Affleck on it right away.

Quantity? (0, Redundant)

PhattyMatty (916963) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158812)

But how much skin would it take? Transfusions are usually a couple litres, right? That's a lot of skin.

Re:Quantity? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34158880)

No, because most of that is water. Anyways, if you read the actual article in Nature, you will find out how much skin it takes. The information you want is in the supplementary information and they don't put that behind the paywall.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/extref/nature09591-s1.pdf

A true breakthrough (3, Funny)

JackpotMonkey (703880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158848)

Now if we can just get the Crips to turn into bloods we may actually have something useful.

Fucking PR (2, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158856)

When scientist act like ad execs, can you blame the Kansans?

Big Deal (1)

new death barbie (240326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158868)

Any kid with a skateboard knows how to do that...

Nasty mental picture, though. Good idea for a zombie movie. "A virus that turns skin... into BLOOOD! What could go wrong?"

Re:Big Deal (1)

JackpotMonkey (703880) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158884)

Well you saw they were going to be starting testing in 2012 right, maybe it will get put off till december....

Hallowen 2011 (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158888)

A little too late for Halloween 2010. Just imagine the party gags!

Many questions still... (2, Insightful)

hahn (101816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158896)

While this is an interesting discovery, scientific history is littered with interesting discoveries that led nowhere. The practicality is dubious until we find answers to quite a few questions. Like how much skin it takes to produce a half liter of blood. A half liter is the standard volume of one bag of packed red blood cells (RBC). To be precise - 450 ml. If you need the entire skin to produce that much, then it's not exactly practical. And if you can grow an RBC supply from just a little bit of skin, how much time will it take and how much money in resources to develop AND store an adequate quantity? And will doing so compromise the stability or functionality (O2 carrying capabilities) of the RBC's produced by such a method?

Re:Many questions still... (1)

thorndt (814642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159280)

I figure they'd just cut off a patch of skin and grow it in a petri dish. They do this now for burn victims. Then, when they've grown enough, they convert it to blood?

conservation of mass (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158902)

I suppose they add some things, but surely the process must roughly obey conservation of mass.. How much skin would I loose for a transfusion bag of blood? The thought gave me the chills. (yes yes, I know, between my life and my skin I would of course choose my life).

foreskins (0)

droidsURlooking4 (1543007) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158910)

Ah, I guess the moyle's cat is out of luck!

Really? (4, Funny)

cprocjr (1237004) | more than 3 years ago | (#34158972)

Cut off a patch of skin. Yeah, that'll stop the bleeding!

Recursion! (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159264)

Cut off a patch of skin. Yeah, that'll stop the bleeding!

This is a wonderful experiment if you add cutty emos to the mix

hmm (1)

bittles (1619071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159036)

turn it into some sort of laser or a gas filled grenade and this would make for 1 brutal video game weapon.

Re:hmm (1)

JDeane (1402533) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159054)

Yeah if you could weaponize this I am sure the military would be all over it like white on rice.... Not sure if it would violate some rules of the Geneva convention though (I hope it would to be honest.)

Good news, everybody! (1)

md65536 (670240) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159092)

Doctor: "Good news! We've managed to turn all your skin into blood! Now, there is also some slightly bad news..."

Oh my God! (0, Offtopic)

Necrotica (241109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159190)

Soylent Green is people!

they scooped me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159222)

The goal was/is not to make bags of liquid blood for transfusions, it's to reconstitute the entire blood hierarchy (including red blood cells and the immune system) by injecting a few stem/progenitor cells. The idea here is that if you've got mutations that predispose you to getting leukemia or such, we'll be able to take some skin cells, grow those cells in vitro and fix the mutations, then turn them into "normal" blood stem/progenitors that we can inject into you after we've irradiated/killed your (mutant/leukemic) bone marrow. In mice, we can reconstitute lethally-irradiated individuals with single hematopoietic stem cells. Humans are bigger and might need more than one cell, but ethics boards won't let us do those experiments (it's hard to be sure you're getting single cells, so limiting dilution assays end up killing half your mice).
 

Meh (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159238)

Its been done. Ever heard of a skateboard?

Haha (1)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159272)

This certainly gives a new meaning to "no skin off my nose!"

Canada!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159322)

There is no mention that this University is Canadian. Come on guys. Canadian power!

Re:Canada!! (1)

Reed Solomon (897367) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159346)

well, can't have people know that a socialist utopia such as Canada with its death panels and socialized medicine can come up with important research.

Granted, I do believe a lot of stem cell research ended up in Canada because of the American distaste for embryonic stem cells.

Either way, yay us. Yay Science.

So, who's going to be the first to make a weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159574)

On with weaponization!

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