Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Blood Building Society

Blood Bank with interest
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Take a small bone marrow sample and culture it. Add fairly large amounts of erythropoietin and the raw materials required for erythropoiesis, thereby generating a steady supply of large volumes of blood. Test samples regularly for dodgy cells and scrap the whole lot if you find them. This gives people their own blood bank with interest, and insures against blood shortages for others in future where their own blood is fairly compatible and plasma expanders and reused blood is not practical. Also useful for treating aplastic anæmia without needing to wait, for replacing blood after radiotherapy for chronic myeloid leukæmia after treatment and various other things.
Can also be used for veggie black puddings.
nineteenthly, Jan 12 2009

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       I suspect you'd run into issues, because blood is a complex ecosystem with many different types of cell. My guess is that culturing would not be able to regulate the populations of the various (many) different cell types, but that's just a guess. Also, maintaining an ongoing culture against possible needs of the individual would be hugely expensive; probably far cheaper to just advertise for blood of the right type at (say) £1000 per litre when you need it.   

       Interesting idea, though - I didn't find anything similar (combinations of "blood" and "culture" just yield hits on blood-culture of pathogens).
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2009
  

       In that case, i wonder about other feedback systems for the likes of platelets and the various white cells. In fact, is anything known about them? Could you modify autoimmune conditions by something other than steroids? Could you do something about Waldenström's macroglobulinæmia? Other similar things?
nineteenthly, Jan 12 2009
  

       The whole business of meta-scale organisation in multicellular organisms is poorly understood. We know about growth factors and cell-cell signalling and all kinds of bits and pieces, but we don't really know how the body maintains the right proportions of different cell types (nor, for example, how your earlobe knows when to stop growing).   

       I believe there are plenty of studies into using the intrinsic signalling systems to modify immune-system diseases, but I don't know about your example. I hope Mr. Waldenström gets better soon.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2009
  

       It turns out that a laser procedure to remove a congenital umlaut was all Mr Waldenstrom needed.
bungston, Jan 12 2009
  

       Thank göödness it didn't metastasize.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2009
  

       That macröglöbulinæmia was plucked öut öf the air. It's just this thing which increases the viscosity öf the blööd thröugh manufacturing löads öf IgM 'cös of that mönöclönal dööbrie.
This needs to be set to Spinal Tap music really, doesn't it?
nineteenthly, Jan 14 2009
  

       Sorry to churn, but it just occurred to me that this could also be used to increase tumour oxygenation and so help treatment even if there's no haematological malignancy.
nineteenthly, Jan 31 2009
  
      
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