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Blood Type Correction

An enzyme which strips blood cells of their identification "blood type" proteins.
  [vote for,

Blood donation is tricky business. Every cell in your body has specific marker proteins which identify it as your own tissue material. Your immune system has cells which "scan" these proteins for a foreign tag. If they don't recognize the protein on the surface, they attack. This is why you can only receive a specific blood type. If your body does not recognize the blood cells, it will bind them together which can cause death. O type blood is often referred to as 'the universal donor' because it has no such proteins. As such, an immune system will be unable to bind the cells together. This is why anyone can receive type O blood. I propose to devise an enzyme which will strip any blood type of it's marker proteins, thus making it type O and allowing it to be used in any patient. This would greatly simplify the blood donation process and prevent cases where medical care does not have enough of the correct type of blood to treat a patient.
Postscript, Mar 27 2010

Pretty much spot-on, posty. http://www.smh.com..../1175366158389.html
[MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 27 2010]


       Borders on the "magic" callout (see "help" under meta), simply because you are not spelling out how you will accomplish what you propose.   

       Perhaps others with more bio background will come along and speculate appropriately, so I'm rooting for this good cause.
normzone, Mar 27 2010

       Actually, the A/B/O blood grouping is determined not by proteins, but by sugar molecules stuck to the proteins on the surface of the red blood cells.   

       However, the basic idea is completely sound. In fact, I am pretty sure that people have looked into glycosylases (sugar- cleaving enzymes) to, effectively, convert all bloods to type ''O".   

       Will go for a Google.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 27 2010

       [normzone] Yeah, I was afraid of that. Unfortunately I'm still a student (and a new one at that) so the super-specifics of this would be beyond me, though now that I think about it, a competitive inhibitor could work. Another protein akin to an antibody that binds to the marker proteins ahead of time and blocks anything else from binding to them, it would probably be easier than stripping them off the cell.
Postscript, Mar 27 2010

       //Actually, the A/B/O blood grouping is determined not by proteins, but by sugar molecules stuck to the proteins on the surface of the red blood cell//   

       [MB] My inexperience shines through again.
Postscript, Mar 27 2010

       Just google "blood type conversion" and you'll find plenty of references to using glycosylases (specifically, galactosidases, which cleave off a particular type of sugar molecule) for exactly this purpose. See link for example.   

       Postscript, your idea was pretty much spot-on (apart from referring to proteins versus sugar groups), so a [+] even though baked.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 27 2010


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