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British scientists 'create' man-made blood

The research programme could help patients with conditions such as sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia, who require treatment with regular blood transfusions.

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Science has come one step closer to making human blood as biomedical engineers produced functional blood platelets, the cells that cause clots to form, from human bone marrow grown in the lab.

The announcement by NHS Blood and Transport is one of 8 goals of the 2020 Research and Development programme, which aims to develop transfusion, transplantation and regenerative medicine over the next 5 years.

In addition to this, researchers are investigating using stem cells from adult and umbilical cord blood to create alternatives to donated blood, particularly those with complex blood types for whom it is difficult to find compatible donors.

It is being done by Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford universities.

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