Type-O For Everybody!
Type-O blood is known as the universal donor and can be given to patients of all blood types.
Canadian researchers have now developed a way to transform all donated blood into a neutral type that can be given to any patient by adding an enzyme that works by snipping off the sugars, also known as antigens, found in Type-A and Type-B blood, making it more like Type-O.
“We produced a mutant enzyme that is very efficient at cutting off the sugars in A and B blood, and is much more proficient at removing the subtypes of the A-antigen that the parent enzyme struggles with,” said lead author of the study David Kwan from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
In just five generations, the enzyme became 170 times more effective.
Researchers used a new technology called directed evolution, which involves inserting mutations into the gene that codes for the enzyme and selecting mutants that are more effective at cutting the antigens in order to create this high-powered enzyme.
The enzyme used would need to remove all of the antigens in blood, since the immune system is highly sensitive to blood groups and even small amounts of residual antigens could trigger an immune response.
This research development can be found in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.