Let's face it, humans are fascinated with the blood seeking creatures we call vampires. The explosion of television and large screen movies beginning with the 1931 classic Dracula,
up through Interview with the Vampire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood,
and latest box office hit Twilight
only illustrate people's delight in watching the thirsty immortal neck biters.
Crying Over Spilled Blood
As scientists, we know that blood is the special body fluid that delivers necessary nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the living. But what you may not know is that vampires; although dead, need this nutrient packed substance too. Since humans are not a willing food chain source, rumor has it that vampires are capable obtaining blood from a variety of other sources, such as animals, other vampires and even refrigerated blood bank packages.
Vampires Vote in Poll
Blood drinking expeditions are dangerous and risky to both humans and vampires. So I'm sure that given the opportunity to vote, 99 percent of vampires would be in favor of reducing the wrestling matches by driving to an open all-night pharmacy and paying the HMO co-pay for a supply of artificial blood. With convenient access to synthetic fluids, the terrorizing blood raids of the night creatures would be reduced across the globe. Soon the popularized vampire movie phase, "I want to drink your blood" may become obsolete. No, really.
Real Benefits of Artificial Blood
Kicking vampires jokes aside, synthetic blood is an innovative medical breakthrough. The widespread accessibility of artificial blood to sustain human life would eliminate several problems including: blood bank shortages; difficulties in obtaining donors during blood drives; transfusion complications; potential spread of infectious diseases (i.e. HIV, AIDS); and excessive time spans in getting much needed blood supplies to emergency recipients. Another major advantage of synthetic blood is that it does not require refrigerated storage, cross-matching or have concerns of contaminates. In addition, artificial blood has a shelf life of upwards of 3 years.
Synthetics Alleviates Spiritual Restrictions
Just recently a woman had lost a large volume of blood due to a serious car accident and was brought back from the "brink of death" with an artificial blood transfusion. To make matters worse, she could not receive human blood replacement due to her religion. However, the infusion of synthetic blood is acceptable to God and all mankind. She received a transfusion of a synthetic known as hemoglobin-based oxygen-carrying synthetic (HBOC-201) containing a molecule derived from cow plasma.
Blood, plasma and tissue manufacturers across the globe are employing molecular lab scientists and research phlebotomists to help in the efforts to create and further develop new synthetic sources. In addition to HBOC-201, currently there are also other artificial blood products being marketed and undergoing clinical trials.