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Blood cells

Canadian scientists successfully convert skin into blood

Now human skin cells can be directly converted into blood cells without first reversing them into flexible pluripotent stem cells, which are used to grow tissues, Canadian scientists have reported in the journal 'Nature.'

Modifield blood cells could resist HIV

Los Angeles -- Primitive blood cells could be modified to be resistant to HIV and transplanted into patients to control HIV infection, a study suggests.

Researchers have known some people with a mutation in a gene called CCR5 have resistance to infection from the most common, CCR5-tropic strains of human immunodeficiency virus and do not develop AIDS, the study published in the journal Nature Biotechnology said.

University of Southern California researchers used enzymes to remove the CCR5 gene from primitive stem blood cells and transplanted them into mice, which then showed resistance to HIV infections, study leader Paula Cannon reported.

Cord cells alternative to embryonic cells

La Jolla, Calif. -- Blood cells from umbilical cords could be banked worldwide to serve as an alternative to embryonic stem cells, scientists in California said.

Umbilical blood cells reprogrammed to function like embryonic stem cells could be the basis for a bank of tissue-matched cells that would serve as a safe, ready-to-use source of stem cells, said Juan-Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, Calif.

The more than 400,000 cord blood units already banked worldwide could be expanded
into a comprehensive bank, Belmonte said in a release Friday.

Umbilical blood cells possess the immunological immaturity of newborn cells, which