Learning English - Words in the News
Blood type switch
Scientists have discovered a way by which they can convert A, B and AB-type blood groups into O-type blood. The technique could lead to a dramatic increase in the worldwide stocks of blood available for transfusion. This report from Neil Bowdler:
O-type blood can be transfused safely into humans of any blood-type without medical risk - the problem is that it's not always readily available for those who desperately need blood. Now an international team of scientists believe they have found a way to convert A, B and AB blood types into O-type, making it safe to use in transfusions. Professor Martin Olsson of Lund University Hospital in Sweden is one of the report's authors.
PROFESSOR OLSSON: That's what we're looking at - to get a unified blood supply that is not fragmented due to the different groups. The dream scenario as I see it is that all those blood units drawn from blood donors would be converted if they're not group-O from the start, so to speak. That is approximately half of all blood units.
Professor Olssen says the conversion technique would be cost-effective and would take about an hour at room temperatures. The process promises not only to increase the stock of blood available for transfusions but could also prevent the accidental transfusion of the wrong blood group into patients. Early-stage clinical trials are now underway.
Neil Bowdler, BBC
The dream scenario
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