Scientists at Sheffield University in Britain have developed synthetic blood that could be used to save lives in emergencies. The artificial substance is easier to transport than the real thing, and it keeps for longer as it does not need to be stored in a cool place. Just like hemoglobin, the fake blood is made up of plastic molecules that have an iron atom at their core, that can carry oxygen through the body. Dr Lance Twyman claims that the plastic blood, which comes in a water-soluble paste and has a honey-like consistency, is cheap to produce.
The team is looking for funding to develop a final prototype for biological testing. (Any volunteers? Thought not.) "We are very excited about the potential for this product and about the fact that this could save lives," he said. "Many people die from superficial wounds when they are trapped in an accident or are injured on the battlefield and can't get blood before they get to hospital. This product can be stored a lot more easily than blood, meaning large quantities could be carried easily by ambulances and the armed forces."
How Plastic Blood Could Move From Test Tube to Battlefield [Guardian Unlimited]