Scientists in the US have created 'artificial' blood that could soon be used on the battlefield to treat wounded soldiers.The blood is developed by using hematopoietic cells taken from umbilical cords in a process called 'pharming' - using genetically engineered plants or animals to create mass quantities of useful substances.
One umbilical cord can be turned into around 20 units of usable blood. A wounded soldier in the field will require an average of six units during treatment.
Blood cells produced using this method are 'functionally indistinguishable from red blood cells in healthy circulation', claims Arteriocyte, the firm which received 1.95 million dollars for the project.
"We're basically mimicking bone marrow in a lab environment," the Daily Mail quoted Arteriocyte boss Don Brown as telling Wired magazine.
If approved it could revolutionize battlefields where a shortage of blood donors can hamper treatment of wounded soldiers.