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There has much political and moral debate over stem cell research during the past few years, and there has been much misunderstanding. Most opponents use that old "what if terrorists clone us" theory as a fear tactic to stall a big longer. Thank goodness there are people out there pursuing the possibilties anyway...take this for instance. That is HUGE news folks. The medical community and, specifically the laboratory has spent years rationing supplies of human blood while technology companies tried in vain to chemically produce a substance that did the oxygen carrying work of a red blood cell but wasn't toxic. Most have failed miserably except in cases of trauma as a short term fix. The shortage began when the "paid donor" went away for safety reasons and the blood supply became the responsibility of people who donate an hour of time to save an anonymous life. When I first began working in the lab, everything we used was whole blood unless we took the plama off and threw it away. Centers drew whole units from donors to make platelet packs and fresh frozen plasma for those who were in desperate need. Today, one blood donation can still yield a unit of whole blood, but most centers separate out all the different parts and docs use them according to the patient's need. If platelets are all you need, that's all you get. By the way, that donor who sat in the recliner with a needle in each arm gave you the equivalent of six to eight platelet "buttons" from one single donation. Great advance in transfusion safety, ya know?

"Have a wonderful Wacky Wednesday" JERRY ALLEN
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