Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

 

Stephen Hawking

 

A protein found in whales might make for better synthetic blood

RATE THIS! +25
Posted in Science on 2nd Oct, 2015 05:54 PM by AlexMuller
A humpback whale can hold its breath for up to 45 minutes, though its dives usually don't last more than 15. It can stay underwater for this long because of a special protein in its blood called myoglobin. Now researchers are working with the protein in order to make synthetic blood for humans.
 
Because of a shortage of donated blood, and fears that it could be contaminated, scientists have been working on creating viable synthetic blood for 40 years. And though there are some versions of synthetic blood that are currently being tested in clinical trials, similar efforts in the past have proven fruitless.
 
One of the reasons is that researchers have struggled to pack synthetic blood with the right proteins, such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood; once removed from the red blood cells that carry it, hemoglobin often deteriorates too quickly.
 
Scientists at Rice University decided to investigate molecules similar to hemoglobin to find one that is more stable. One such protein is myoglobin, though it is also found in humans, myoglobin plays a much more important role for whales. When a whale takes a deep dive and waits to come up for air, myoglobin holds oxygen in its muscles so that it can be used when the whale needs it.
 
Myoglobin is much better at holding oxygen than hemoglobin (which whales also have) because of the way that myoglobin is folded. The researchers were able to program E. coli bacteria to produce this protein in sufficient quantities to really experiment with it. Its hardiness and the ease with which scientists produce it show that myoglobin could be a good candidate to float in synthetic blood without the protection of red blood cells.
 
Myoglobin, of course, isn't hemoglobin, and can't work in human bodies the same way. But these discoveries with myoglobin are an important step in the right direction. "Myoglobin is the model system that we use to see if the methodology works, to see if the mechanisms are right, and now we can apply it to hemoglobin," says John Olson, the paper's senior author, in a video. If the researchers can find a stable version of hemoglobin that works as well as myoglobin, then they might be able to create synthetic blood that would work as well in patients as real human blood.

Tags: bloodproteinbiologymedicinechemistryresearch

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Science on 2017-06-26 14:35:26
    France to ban all new oil and gas exploration in.....read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-06-26 14:23:06
    Varjo Promises Human-Eye Resolutions For VR This Year..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-06-26 14:17:14
    SpaceX Pulls Off Two Droneship Landings in Three Days..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-06-25 14:44:38
    Microsoft wants to make Direct Reality VR’s answer to.....read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-06-25 14:31:51
    UK's first heart pump targets 2018 clinical trial..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Obesity is top cause of preventable life-years lost, study shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Light can be utilized to control gene function..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Brain stimulation restores memory during lapses, research shows..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Wax worm caterpillar will eat plastic shopping bags: New.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me