[science] Strange Blood — Wired Magazine takes a look at artificial Blood. ‘…we’re in South Africa, where the human immunodeficiency virus has slipped into the veins of at least 4.5 million people. That’s 10 percent of the population. Some estimates put it much higher, at 25, 30, or even 40 percent, and all studies agree that the numbers are climbing, making this country among the hardest hit anywhere. The result, in addition to the obvious misery and death, is a blood shortage of huge proportions. Necessity breeds invention, however, and it can also cut through snares of bureaucracy. As Cappy’s pale, anemic body is wheeled into intensive care, Levien tells the nurses there to “hang a bag of aitchbock.” That’s H-B-O-C, for hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier – the generic term for Hemopure, a therapeutic substance made by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical firm Biopure and approved for use nowhere in the world except South Africa. This is artificial blood, and it’s clean and pure and fresh from the tap – never touched by human hands or human pathogens. To collect Hemopure for an injured South African, you don’t need donor drives or questionnaires or tourniquets or risk. All you need is a head of cattle.’
This entry was posted on Friday, July 19th, 2002 at 2:16 pm and is filed under Health.