Blood banks around the world always need more of the universal blood type, type O blood, since it can be universally administered in an emergency. Doctors often call this kind of blood, a “universal donor” blood. Now, scientists say they have identified enzymes originating in the human gut that can turn type A and B blood into the universal blood type, type O blood, by removing A or B antigens. These newly identified enzymes make the conversion into type O blood as much as 30 times more efficiently than previously studied enzymes.
Learn More About Creating the Universal Blood Type, Type O Blood, From Other Blood Types
Stephen G. Withers, a researcher from the University of British Columbia, presented these findings on converting other blood types into the universal blood type, type O blood, at the 256th American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition in Boston. He shared his research and also took questions from those in attendance. Stephen G. Withers is a regular contributor to ACS Publications journals, having published more than 130 articles across multiple journals during his career.
Watch Stephen G. Withers’ Press Conference at the 256th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Boston:
The universal blood type, type O blood, is often in short supply at hospitals, due to a shortage of donors with the very important blood type. This shortage of this critical blood type, among other blood types, is often made worse during a crisis. Donating blood regularly can help alleviate these kinds of shortages, but someday technologies like these could help increase supplies as well.
Many chemists are making important contributions to medical research, including research affecting wounds and the blood supply. Learn about how researchers have developed nanoparticles that congregate wherever injury occurs in the body to help it form blood clots, and how they’ve validated these particles in test tubes and in vivo.