Soon, blood cells from donated blood will be universally compatible –
Researchers led by Henrik Clausen of the University of Copenhagen have discovered two enzymes that efficiently chop the A and B sugars off of red blood cells, making them universal. The company ZymeQuest, based in Beverly, MA, has licensed the enzymes and developed a machine that can simultaneously treat eight units of blood with the enzymes in 90 minutes.
The two chopping enzymes discovered by Clausen are made by bacteria. They selectively cleave only A or B sugars, leaving other sugars on the red cells’ surface intact. The enzymes cleave each of these sugars so that there is no risk of an immune reaction in the patient. And they perform well at a neutral pH. The enzymes discovered previously did not do all these things.
Technology Review: Universal Blood – Link.
Sign up for the News from the Future newsletter here – Link.