Research brief: Scientists switch blood group

Scientists have worked out how to turn blood from groups A, B or AB into group O. The finding promises to boost availability of group O blood for transfusions, which has universal application because it can be accepted by people with all blood groups.  The technique involves newly-identified enzymes that remove sugar molecules from blood cells. It is these molecules that typically trigger an immune reaction against cells in unmatched recipients. However, tests to make sure blood produced by this method is safe and effective is still needed (Nat Biotechnol 2007; 25: 454–64).

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