Researchers have found a way to get blood from skin cells, no not by cutting people. More specifically they can use skin cells to produce blood – something that was thought impossible. This will have huge positive effects on people requiring blood treatments.
Among the first applications McMaster will pursue is to eliminate the need for bone-marrow registries that seek to match cancer patients to donors against very long odds. Instead, the new process could turn patients into their own ideal donors, said McMaster vice-president and dean of health sciences John Kelton, himself a hematologist.
The director of Canada’s Stem Cell Network said the McMaster discovery is significant and could soon lead to what called “personalized blood cells”.
It is also important because it suggests skin cells can be converted into other types of cells, such as muscle or pancreatic cells, said Michael Rudnicki.