True Blood A Foreseer of the Future

March 23, 2009 by  

trubloodbottleIt seems the old phrase “life imitating art” holds true with the recognition of the similarities between Alan Ball‘s hit HBO TV series True Blood and the news of the development of synthetic blood by a British company. Ok so it is not a Japanese research company as in True Blood but now it makes you wonder what further usage can be implemented from it. The reports states that with the discovery of synthetic blood, it will be used to help with the delivery of emergency infection-free transfusions whether they are for traffic accident victims or soldiers out on the battlefield. An unusually familiar circumstance as in the show Japanese scientists develop synthetic blood to be used for medical facilities. However it will be three more years before we see the first transfusions into human volunteers of the synthetic blood. So what can we expect next?  The “Great Revelation” as in True Blood with the emergence of vampires now able to feed on this new synthetic blood? It seems we will have to wait a few more years to see if that part of “life imitating art” occurs.

In the meantime controversy surrounds the use of stem cells from spare IVF embryos that are genetically programmed to develop into “O-negative” blood group, the universal donor group whose blood can be transfused into anyone. An interesting point that the article makes is

“This blood group is relatively rare, applicable to about 7 per cent of the population, but it could be produced in unlimited quantities from embryonic stem cells because of their ability to multiply indefinitely in the laboratory. It also raises the intriguing philosophical question of whether the synthetic blood will have come from someone who never existed. In theory, just one embryo could meet the nation’s needs.”

The deal involves National Health Service Blood and Transplant, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service and the Wellcome Trust, the world’s biggest medical research charity in conjunction with blood transfusion services of Scotland, England ,Wales and the Irish Government .

SOURCE: The New Zealand Herald

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)