Nov 8, 2015

New discovery changes everything we know about how blood is made

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Stem-cell scientists have upended current thinking on the way human blood is produced inside the body, opening the way for new studies and new treatments. The findings of principal investigator John Dick and his team from the University of Toronto in Canada challenge ideas that have been in place since the 1960s.

Essentially, the new research suggests that blood is formed in fewer steps than previously believed: earlier evidence indicated stem cells went through several intermediate steps before becoming white or red adult cells, like branches coming out from a tree trunk. Dick and his team think the process is much quicker and simpler, though their findings have yet to be confirmed by independent researchers.

“The whole classic ‘textbook’ view we thought we knew doesn’t actually even exist,” said Dick. “Instead, through a series of experiments we have been able to finally resolve how different kinds of blood cells form quickly from the stem cell – the most potent blood cell in the system – and not further downstream as has been traditionally thought.”

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