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Another Try at Artificial Blood

michael posted about 11 years ago | from the vampires-not-pleased dept.

Science 37

kpogoda writes "There are some Swedish scientists that have successfully produced a powdered form of blood that can be used to treat patients. Although it is not ready for transfusions yet it is a major breakthrough in a much needed arena."

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Vampires?? (1)

EdMack (626543) | about 11 years ago | (#7301457)

Why would the vampires not be pleased? This is a safe and quick blood-source, which may very well be more stable than the older homocidal methods. Surely on this pro-OSS extra choices would be seen as a good thing?

Re:Vampires?? (1)

confused one (671304) | about 11 years ago | (#7302999)

Naw, doesn't taste right...

Re:Vampires?? (1)

Go Aptran (634129) | about 11 years ago | (#7303269)

1. Artificial powdered blood

2. Vampire Pixie-Stix

3. Profit!

Re:Vampires?? (1)

yourmom16 (618766) | about 11 years ago | (#7309032)

Its kind of like powdered milk, its called blood but tastes awful

Hemospan (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | about 11 years ago | (#7301603)

This article made me realize something... this fancy new powdered blood (akin to Tang, I think) is called Hemospan. So why the hell does Hemos call himself Hemos? Is he trying to make a fashion statement about blood, using some stylish shortening of the word 'hemoglobin'? I guess blood-red is really in these days.

Re:Hemospan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7302188)

So why the hell does Hemos call himself Hemos?

Thus quoth the FAQ [] :

"Hemos" is a mangling of a plant found on Michigan dunes. I don't get it either. Jeff's a weird guy.

Re:Hemospan (1)

TwistedGreen (80055) | about 11 years ago | (#7302954)

Hmm. Well, I guess a name's a name.

After all... would a rose, by any other name, smell as sweet?

Er... though I doubt that metaphor applies to Hemos in particular...

Powdered Blood (3, Funny)

Micro$will (592938) | about 11 years ago | (#7301634)

A.K.A. Vampire Tang

Re:Powdered Blood (1)

nocomment (239368) | about 11 years ago | (#7302386)

If it's anything like powdered milk it's going to taste real bad *ick* ;-)

Hmmm (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7301733)

Artifical blood made from...blood!

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

Valdrax (32670) | about 11 years ago | (#7303060)

The point is that it can be safely kept in storage for much longer at room temperature (which is a huge boon for developing countries) and doesn't require type-matching (which is a minor speedup for emergency care). Furthermore, it can apparently eventually be made from non-human sources. This is, in every way, cool.

New, Dehydrate Blood! (1)

Flwyd (607088) | about 11 years ago | (#7301734)

Made from contented donors.

Re:New, Dehydrate Blood! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7302249)

Say goodnight, Gracie.

"Goodnight Gracie."

artificial (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7302342)

How can it be artificial when it is made from real human blood?

So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (4, Interesting)

anactofgod (68756) | about 11 years ago | (#7302433)

I'm not a doctor (but I play one on TV), and I'm confused by a seeming contradiction in the article.

One paragraph states "The product is a powder made from blood that has been stored for more than six weeks and can not be used for transfusion." Later in the article, the following statement is made "The powder can be mixed into liquid when required, and transfused into patients regardless of their blood type."

Was the intent of the first statement to indicate that Hemospan is necessary, but not sufficient, in that it lacks the functionality of the platelets and plasma?


Re:So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (1)

Winterblink (575267) | about 11 years ago | (#7302502)

I think it's trying to get across that if you try to transfuse someone's blood with POWDER, the results will be less than ideal. Mix with liquid first. :)

Re:So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 11 years ago | (#7302666)

As far as I can tell, they're taking just the hemoglobin from outdated blood, and then wrapping it up in a deliverable form. So it's made from blood, but they've stripped out anything that could cause rejection, along with viruses and other nasty things.

The article says that they could do it from any mammalian blood, but use human blood for "ethical reasons". PETA members, perhaps? It makes sense that this procedure could use any hemoglobin source, as all mammals are pretty much identical from that standpoint.

Personally, I'd prefer that they take the bazillions of gallons of cows' blood that are produced anyway and use it to save lives. It's not currently wasted, as it's used for a variety of agricultural and industrial uses, but it could save lives more directly by making blood substitutes cheaper.

I guess some people would REALLY prefer not to get animal blood, no matter how vigorously processed, just from the squick factor.

Re:So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (1)

renoX (11677) | about 11 years ago | (#7303875)

>The article says that they could do it from any mammalian blood, but use human blood for "ethical reasons". PETA members, perhaps?

I don't know. The question is: have they really stripped out 100% of the "nasty things"?

If it is not 100%, but 99.99% using cow's blood could create new illness: animals illness transmited to men..

Re:So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (1)

0x20 (546659) | about 11 years ago | (#7304905)

A disease that affects cows and is present in their blood won't affect humans just by being transfused into them - it has to be a disease which can affect humans in the first place, and even in that case it could be just as easily transmitted by eating a hamburger.

Cow blood's been done before (1)

amcox (588540) | about 11 years ago | (#7305728)

Scientists are actually working on a blood subsitutie, also called a Hemoglobin Based Oxygen Carrier, derived from cow blood. Biopure Corporation calls its product Hemopure. The company has a fairly inofrmative website here [] . Wired Magazine had another decent piece [] . Currently it is in human trials in South Africa where AIDS has decimated the blood supply.

The problem with pure hemoglobin is that it falls apart in the blood when not in a blood cell and becomes poisonous. Hemopure is cross linked with polymers within its structure to make it stay togeather and to increase it's oxygen carrying capbilites. Super cow blood, one might say.

Re:So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (0)

veritron (637136) | about 11 years ago | (#7302687)

One paragraph states "The product is a powder made from blood that has been stored for more than six weeks and can not be used for transfusion."

Horribly ambigious sentence, I know.

Re:So, can it be used in tranfusions, or not? (1)

Lars T. (470328) | about 11 years ago | (#7305003)

Well, "The product is a powder made from [blood that has been stored for more than six weeks and can not be used for transfusion]." Clear now?

Umm... Powdered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7302456)

Blood is a living tissue. How the hell do you "dry and powder" it?

What's next? (1)

kinnell (607819) | about 11 years ago | (#7302520)

Powdered toast?

Re:What's next? (1)

tsanth (619234) | about 11 years ago | (#7302611)

I don't know about you, but I'd like to see powdered water.

Already Exists. (1)

clambake (37702) | about 11 years ago | (#7302900)

I'll email you some. You can't see it, it's invisible (water is clear, right?). Just put a glass next to the modem to get yours. Then mix in some water, and presto!

Re:What's next? (1)

anubi (640541) | about 11 years ago | (#7307131)

You must be a Southerner...

The rest of us 'uns call that thar stuff 'snow'!

Two out of three Vampyres agree (2, Funny)

MImeKillEr (445828) | about 11 years ago | (#7302674)

It tastes just as good as the original!

Reminds me of the old joke:

A vampire walks into a bar and orders a glass of warm water.

The bartender brings him the glass and asks "what's this for?"

The vampire pulls out a used tampon, dunks it in the glass and says

'I prefer instant'

Or something like that....!

No more game violence BS (0)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 11 years ago | (#7302731)

Now game developers could defend themselves by claiming that the blood they are simulating is artificial
(in C&C blood was replaced by oil in some countries)

Re:No more game violence BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7303414)

in C&C blood was replaced by oil in some countries

No Blood for Oil!!!

Now in convenient powder form! (1)

greenhide (597777) | about 11 years ago | (#7303266)

I have a shake for breakfast, a shake for for lunch, and a sensible dinner.

Jehovah's Witnesses (4, Insightful)

frankjr (591955) | about 11 years ago | (#7303331)

This is a very important development for Jehovah's Witnesses. The article mentions that it is possible to use animal blood rather than human blood for blood transfusions. It is against Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs to accept blood transfusions because it is considered to be consuming the flesh of another person. So, since accepting animal blood would not be against the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses, it may clear up the controversy surrounding JW's refusal of necessary blood transfusions?

Re:Jehovah's Witnesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7303443)

Who cares? They're all a bunch of wacks anyway.

Re:Jehovah's Witnesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7312325)

(Disclaimer: I am not a Jehovah's Witness, but I've studied some of their beliefs. But I could be completely wrong anyway. Do your own research.) Not quite. Their belief stems from a verse in the Old Testament (Somewhere in Deuteronomy--look it up, if you want it exactly) where it states that you can't eat/drink the blood of other animals, rather that it should be 'spilled out onto the ground' when the meat is prepared. Take the leap of logic that says that blood transfusions = eating/drinking (or 'consuming', as you say) and there you go. I'm afraid that this probably wouldn't make a difference, as long as it comes from some sort of animal/human blood.

Re:Jehovah's Witnesses (2, Informative)

Henry Salt (694931) | about 11 years ago | (#7318516)

Speaking as a Jehovah's Witness, we believe that the Bible prohibits the taking of any blood - animal or human. Since the Bible is God's inspired instruction to us, that prohibition is straight from the top. In our view, a whole blood transfusion clearly counts.

See this article at for the full scoop [] on our beliefs.

Sounds great. (1)

ahfoo (223186) | about 11 years ago | (#7309225)

What a wonderful idea.

Of course this [] would be even better. But you know --one step at a time.

I was hoping they had some artificial plasma as well. That would be miraculous and a real cost saver. But it would also be asking a bit much. The plasma is where all the interesting proteins hide, so it probably will never be suited to a dried form. But if it does get figured out, whoa look out. That will probably be about the same time somebody pinpoints the mechanism behind reprogramming after nuclear transfer. With an endless supply of human serum and flawless regprogramming, we'll be in for a brave new world!

Praise Ford and pass the soma. This is totally pneumatic.

Boycott Hemospam! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7325362)

That just great, not only we have spam on the phone, spam in the mailbox, now we have SPAM IN BLOOD VESSELS! We must ban this heinous telemarketing scam NOW!!!
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