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Goodbye to blood donations?

By Tom Clarke

Updated on 23 March 2009

Scientists believe they could be manufacturing synthetic human blood from stem cells within three years.

From soldiers injured on the battlefield to cancer patients and burns victims, the need for blood for transfusions has never been greater.

Now British scientists are about to embark on a study they hope will lead to an unlimited supply of artificial blood.

Scientists in Scotland are hoping to become the first in the world to use stem cells to create a bank of synthetic O-negative blood. The blood type is the universal donor which can be safely transfused into anyone.

The technology uses embryonic stem cells and should guarantee the new blood is free of viruses like hepatitis and HIV.

How does it work?

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