Total Solar Eclipse
Featured Series: Total Solar Eclipse
Aug. 21, 2017 will be America's best chance to see a total solar eclipse for the next seven years.

A Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Solve The Blood Donor Problem

Two research teams each found a way to create blood stem cells that can be programmed to match patients' blood types.
A Stem Cell Breakthrough Could Solve The Blood Donor Problem

After two decades of trial and error, scientists now have the formula to create blood stem cells in the lab.

The finding is especially important for patients who have blood disorders like leukemia because it could remove the need to find donors with matching blood types.

Two research teams shared how they created these cells.

One team took human skin cells and reprogrammed them with new genes. Those cells were then injected into mice and started producing something akin to blood.

The second team did something similar, but instead of creating blank stem cells, they modified them from blood vessels. They put those into sick mice with blood-related diseases, and the rodents eventually got better.

A lot still needs to happen before these cells are tested on humans, but scientists are elated about the possibility of treating people with their own stem cells.