It was the first time possible to create, in the laboratory, stem cells that give rise to human blood. So, New Scientist magazine reported. This is a relevant innovation, since the ability to create blood in the laboratory through these cells can ensure new treatments for people with diseases such as leukemia or blood problems, thus using their own cells instead of the necessary wait for A transplant from a donor.
These stem cells are those that, because they have not yet differentiated, can give rise to any type of cell present in the human body. Those that give rise to blood cells are stored in the bone marrow. That’s where the red blood cells, the white blood cells and the platelets that make up our blood form. If this process fails, for example because its manufacture has stopped or because the stem cells have been damaged, for example, due to chemotherapy (the blood does not fulfill its tasks of protecting the organism and transporting nutrients and oxygen to all Organs of the body), thus compromising their survival.
The only way to correct this known problem so far was through a healthy bone marrow donor to replace that which no longer worked. But since it is difficult to find a compatible donor, the large-scale and safe production of stem cells that give rise to human blood in the laboratory can circumvent this problem. And the solution was found in an experiment led by George Daley, a scientist at Harvard Medical School.
It was George Daley’s team that started by collecting human pluripotent stem cells, that is, cells capable of forming almost all type of cells that make up the body. By analyzing stem cell genes, scientists have found the chemicals that gave orders to cells to differentiate into cells in human blood. They found five combinations of proteins that in human stem cells commanded these cells to become red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The formula for the laboratory creation of stem cells producing human blood was found.
If something similar had been achieved by another scientific team, led by Raphael Lis (Weill Cornell Medical College), using stem cells extracted from adult mice, these cells were removed from the walls of the animals’ lungs. After being properly studied, the scientists came up with a four-factor formula that commands stem cells to differentiate into cells in the lungs. This has proven to scientists that for this process adult cells can be used to form new organs, something that has come to light in George Daley’s experiments.
However, the process of breeding human blood in the laboratory through stem cells cannot begin right now: although all rats involved in older experiments are healthy to this day, further studies are needed to prove that human blood cells formed through Stem cells cannot be rejected by the body or cause cancer or mutations in the organs.