In world-first trial, lab-grown blood was just injected into two people

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These first tests are just to see if it’s safe. But if it works, lab-grown blood could help people with rare blood types and blood disorders.

In a world first, two people were injected with red blood cells grown in a lab as part of a clinical trial, the research team announced this week. It’s a first step toward seeing if lab-grown blood cells are safe and work in the body — which would be a major advance for people living with rare blood types or blood disorders.

“This world leading research lays the groundwork for the manufacture of red blood cells that can safely be used to transfuse people with disorders like sickle cell,” said Farrukh Shah, medical director of transfusion for National Health Service Blood and Transplant in the United Kingdom, in a statement.