One Step Closer To Artificial Blood

For years, biotechnology companies have tried to develop an artificial blood that could be used for emergency transfusions. But most efforts have stumbled over trying to reproduce hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells and is the essential element for artificial blood. The trouble is, when hemoglobin is outside the red blood cell, it clings too tightly to oxygen. Natural hemoglobin also breaks down into smaller units that can clog the kidneys and even cause them to fail. Trying to reproduce animal hemoglobin hasn't succeeded yet, either.

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