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Home Industry News Scientists devise method of turning skin cells into blood

Scientists devise method of turning skin cells into blood

8th November 2010

A research team have created a new method of transforming skin cells into blood cells, without the need for an interim step.

Scientific journal Nature has published a report from a team at McMaster University, highlighting a means of creating blood from skin stem cells directly, foregoing the necessity of first turning them into pluripotent stem cells.

This principle has been tested extensively over the last two years with young and old subjects to ensure it can be performed with patients of any age, with clinical testing potentially beginning as early as 2012.

The discovery could represent an important breakthrough for those requiring transfusions, as compatible blood could be created from a patch of the patient's own skin in future.

Mick Bhatia, scientific director of McMaster's Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute and leader of the study, said: "We'll now go on to work on developing other types of human cell types from skin, as we already have encouraging evidence."

The news has been welcomed by Dr Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK, who told the Daily Mail that the technique could help to bypass the difficulty of finding matching donors for patients.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800222765-ADNFCR

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