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Al Jazeera | Building Blood
Pioneering scientists are using stem cells in a bid to end blood shortages.
Director: Hugh Hartford
Producer: Anson Hartford
September 2013

About 107 million blood donations are collected worldwide every year, helping to save countless lives.


But many patients requiring transfusions do not have access to safe blood.


At the University of Glasgow in Scotland scientists are looking at how to produce blood using stem cells. These cells have the ability to turn into any cell type and scientists feed them with a particular mix of nutrients and natural chemicals to encourage them to grow into red blood cells.


One of the first groups of patients this manufactured blood could be tested on and benefit are those with the inherited blood disorder thalassaemia, a disease which affects the body’s ability to create red blood cells.


Emergency medic Dr Javid Abdelmoneim meets researchers building blood, as well as a thalassaemia patient who could benefit from this cutting edge technique.

About The Cure

The Cure is an award-winning series exploring solutions to today’s most pressing health problems. 


Presented by practicing medics, The Cure takes you on a journey to the frontiers of world health, from cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs to advances in affordable healthcare for those who need it most. This series looks at some of the world’s most intractable health problems and the inspirational people working to find a cure.

Credit List
Dr Javid Abdelmoneim