Archive for July, 2012

24
Jul
12

Cloning Rh Negative Blood

If you search the web on “rh negative blood cloning” or some variation thereof, many sites will come up and you’ll find a reference to Rh Negative blood not being able to be cloned.  For the most part, these websites don’t provide a source for that statement. 

In doing that search now in 2012, I’m amazed by the lack of current information.  Most of the articles that do come up are from the 1990’s.  In 1997 sciencenews.org said the following:

http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc97/1_11_97/bob1.htm

Any technology that would convert blood to a true universal donor type must take another characteristic, Rh factor, into account. A cell surface protein first discovered in the blood of Rhesus monkeys, the Rh factor can provoke an immune reaction in people whose blood doesn’t normally carry it. People who have the protein on their red blood cells are deemed Rh-positive; those who don’t are Rh-negative.

Rh incompatibility is less of a problem than ABO incompatibility, says Klein. A majority of people in the United States, about 84 percent, have Rh-positive blood.

Moreover, an Rh-negative person can withstand one accidental transfusion of Rh-positive blood because the Rh-negative person doesn’t develop anti-Rh antibodies until 3 or 4 months later, Klein says. “The second transfusion, after they already have that antibody they made as a result of the first transfusion, could be very serious.” An Rh-negative woman who develops antibodies from bearing an Rh-positive child faces that risk if she conceives a second Rh-positive child or receives an Rh-positive blood transfusion.

Several labs have cloned the Rh factor, Goldstein says, but no one fully understands its three-dimensional structure. Therefore, researchers are only beginning to explore techniques for Rh conversion. If researchers can identify which part of the protein stimulates the immune response, then perhaps they can alter that portion to make the blood cell effectively Rh-negative. Eventually they want to produce type O, Rh-negative blood–the kind any person can receive without fear.

So, supposedly, in 1997, Rh positive blood was being cloned but not Rh negative blood.  I can find no information that indicates that in the intervening years Rh negative blood has been successfully cloned.  However, I did find the following fairly recent article about “pharming” or genetically engineered Rh negative blood.  I read into this that pharming is being attempted because Rh negative blood cannot be cloned.  Please see the following taken from the UK’s Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1293361/Scientists-develop-fake-genetically-engineered-blood-use-battlefield.html

“American scientists have developed ‘artificial’ blood that could soon be used to treat wounded soldiers in battle.

The genetically-engineered blood is created by  taking cells from umbilical cords and using a machine to mimic the way bone marrow works to produce mass quantities of usable units of red blood cells.

Known as ‘blood pharming’ the programme was launched in 2008 by the Pentagon’s experimental arm, Darpa, to create blood to treat soldiers in far-flung battlefields.

The firm Arteriocyte, which received $1.95 million for the project, has now sent off its first shipment of O-negative blood to the food and drugs watchdog in the US, the FDA

The blood is made by using hematopoietic cells taken from umbilical cords in a process called ‘pharming’ – using genetically engineered plants or animals to create mass quantities of useful substances.

One umbilical cord can be turned into around 20 units of usable blood. A wounded soldier in the field will require an average of six units during treatment.

Blood cells produced using this method are ‘functionally indistinguishable from red blood cells in healthy circulation’, the company claims.

‘We’re basically mimicking bone marrow in a lab environment,’ Arteriocyte boss Don Brown told Wired magazine.

‘Our model works, but we need to extrapolate our production abilities to make scale.’

If approved it could revolutionise battlefields where a shortage of blood donors can hamper treatment of wounded soldiers.

The process of giving transfusions in war zones is also made more difficult because donated blood has to be transported long distance before it reaches the field hospitals where it is urgently needed

Some blood is already 21 days old before it reaches patients, meaning it only has around a week-long shelf-life before it must be discarded. There are increased risks of infection or organ failure if blood is too old.

Mr Brown said: ‘Until now, the military’s strategy has mainly been contained to basically using stale blood,’

‘And they’ll set up mobile blood banks in a war zone, but even every troop rolling up their sleeve might not be enough when you’ve got a crisis with dozens or more injuries.’

Human trials are not likely until 2013, but the firm predicts the ‘pharmed’ blood could be used by the military within five years if the Pentagon calls for it sooner.

A unit of blood is around a pint and the human body contains between eight and ten pints of blood in total.

Currently, each unit made by Arteriocyte costs $5,000 to produce. If approved, the firm expects to bring this down to around $1,000 per unit by scaling up the production process.

As well as being needed by the military, ‘pharmed’ blood could also be used in hospitals to make up for shortfalls in blood donations if it is approved.

The ‘pharmed’ blood is type O negative which is the most sought after variation because it can be used with any patient, regardless of their own blood type.

Last month the US Red Cross issued an urgent appeal for blood donors to come forward after it said that its supply of O Negative blood was hitting ‘critically low levels.”

If anyone has more info on this subject they’d like to share, please do!  Thanks

 

10
Jul
12

Glowing Orange Orbs

A few days ago (early July 2012) my daughter and I were having lunch and she started telling me about a friend of a co-worker of hers who had seen something unusual.  Right away my ears picked up…I knew something about UFOs was coming.  She said that her co-worker’s friend was on Nantucket and he, as well as others with him, had seen two orange orbs travelling together across the night sky.  He was at a loss to identify what these orbs were.  He could not dismiss what he had seen and started to research on the internet to see if there were reports of others having seen something similar.  To his surprise, he found many reports of sightings describing orange “balls” or “orbs”…many reported within the past couple of weeks.

My daughter asked if I had heard or seen anything about this.  I hadn’t.  But after searching the internet, I learned that hundreds if not thousands of similar sightings had been reported over the past few years.  And what was interesting was that these “orbs” usually traveled in multiples.

Who or what is visiting us and why?  Any ideas?