Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can we share vampires' appetite for synthetic blood?

Date:
October 19, 2011
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
Vampires on the "True Blood" television series are already enjoying the advantages of synthetic blood. While this may seem to be only the imagination on the big screen, the true benefits of blood manufactured from embryonic stem cells may be less than a decade away.

Vampires on the True Blood television series are already enjoying the advantages of synthetic blood. While this may seem to be only the imagination on the big screen, the true benefits of blood manufactured from embryonic stem cells may be less than a decade away.

It is unclear however whether society can develop an acceptance of cultured blood -- or an appetite for synthetic meat produced by related technology. For this reason it is vital the public has every opportunity to get involved with the latest developments in stem cell research, say researchers from the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Genomics Network.

Clips from the popular True Blood TV show as well as the Twilight book and film series will provide a starting point for debate on recent biotechnology developments, including stem cell research, at a public event organised as part of the ESRC's Festival of Social Science 2011.

The audience will be able to discuss a range of issues from Twilight's 'vegetarian vampires' to the possibilities of 'in vitro' meat. "The fact that synthetic blood features so prominently in the True Blood series is a great opportunity to get a new -- particularly younger audience -- thinking about these issues," emphasises Dr Christine Knight. "The biotechnology developments that enable production of blood and meat in the laboratory are likely to affect all of us in the coming years." For example, the potential to manufacture blood on demand for use in transfusions (up to 2 million units are needed a year) from embryonic stem cells could be a reality in just a decade from now.

However, research undertaken by the Genomics Network indicates that gathering public reactions to potential stem cell products will be key to the understanding some of the barriers encountered when introducing these products into a consumer market. Stem cell research is still considered controversial or unacceptable by some communities. "It's vital that the impact of these technologies on society is taken into account -- that people understand what's involved and have the chance to learn about how and why technologies such as stem-cell derived blood products or synthetic meat are being developed.," says event speaker, Miss Emma King

Discussion of these issues, event speaker Dr Neil Stephens confirms, is crucial at this point in time. "Tissue engineering techniques could soon be applied to the production of food, producing in laboratories meat that has at no point has been part of a living animal. While at present vast technical challenges remain to the successful production of in vitro meat, the technology raises many questions for scientists, regulators and consumers to which there are no clear answers."

"It is entirely possible," he continues, "that with adequate funding in vitro meat could find a route to consumer markets and into human diets. It is equally possible that the technology could be wholly rejected by the consuming public, or might never move beyond the current stage of basic laboratory research. Will in vitro meat ever be a food, or just a Frankensteinian scientific misadventure? These are the sort of questions we need to be asking."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Can we share vampires' appetite for synthetic blood?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018095126.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2011, October 19). Can we share vampires' appetite for synthetic blood?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018095126.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Can we share vampires' appetite for synthetic blood?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018095126.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins