Numerous past attempts to develop synthetic blood have failed because doctors got the basic science wrong, claim a handful of researchers. This week it was announced that a blood substitute based on their alternative theories is looking promising in an early trial.

Developing a suitable blood substitute for people has been a major effort for decades. An artificial blood would relieve shortages and prevent patients being infected by contaminated supplies.



Ideally, it could be given to anyone without triggering rejection, so accident victims could be given transfusions immediately without testing to see what blood group they are. And a long-lasting form that does not need to be kept cold would be ideal for use in disasters, wars and remote areas.



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