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Synthetic blood, NICE calls for ‘happy, healthy’ workplaces and new way to spot mouth cancer

Human volunteers will be given ‘synthetic blood’ made in a laboratory for the first time within the next two years, according to a story in the Independent.

The blood is made from stem cells extracted from either the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies or the blood of adult donors.

The immediate goal is to manufacture specialised donations for patients suffering from blood conditions such as sickle-cell anaemia who need regular transfusions. However, eventually it is hoped that unlimited quantities of red blood cells will be made for emergency transfusions.

With work-related illnesses costing society about £13bn a year, bosses must ‘raise their game’ to create happy, healthy workplaces, say guidelines from NICE.

According to a BBC report, NICE is urging employers to make sure their staff work reasonable hours and take regular breaks.

Finally, an ITV News story says that saliva tests could give doctors a new way to spot and diagnose mouth cancers.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US examined 93 patients with newly diagnosed head and neck cancers and found that DNA shed from tumours could be measured in both saliva and blood.

Lead researcher Dr Nishant Agrawal said the study could help develop new methods of screening.


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