They are Premila P. Samuel,, Lucian P. Smith, George N. Phillips Jr, and John S. Olson. And, don’t confuse at all, these people are not bloodthirsty vampires, they are biochemists solving one of the most rigid problems of science.
More than 100 million people donate their blood every year, despite world suffers with acute shortage of blood. Synthetic blood can be a possible solution, but success has alluded by far.
But all this may change in times to come as researchers are very close to cracking the secret code that may pull them very close to turn this dream into a reality.
According to a scientific study recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, has raised hope that new understanding of the whale’s blood can make it possible to create lab-made hemoglobin. It’s a known fact that whales or dolphins have superior diving skills.
Dolphins lungs can move three to four times faster than the human lungs. They are deep divers and at cell level—they are capable of storing more oxygen because of the presence of Myoglobins protein in their muscles. They can temporarily store new oxygen in their muscles.
“Whales and other deep-diving marine mammals can pack 10-20 times more myoglobin into their cells than humans can, and that allows them to ‘download’ oxygen directly into their skeletal muscles and stay active even when they are holding their breath,” biochemist John Olson explained.
The whales meat is so dark because of the presence of large of Myoglobins which also help them store more oxygen. “When the myoglobin is newly made, it does not yet contain heme,” the researcher added. “We found that the stability of heme-free myoglobin is the key factor that allows cells to produce high amounts of myoglobin.”
They are trying to create a strain of bacteria which can generate massive quantities of the globulin that carries heme in blood, called hemoglobin.
By understanding how a globulin can efficiently fold, he and his team now believe that crafting exceptionally efficient hemoglobin factories is possible.
Why the discovery is important?
This is extremely important for third-world countries. According to the WHO, 75 struggling countries still lack adequate blood donation numbers , 10 donations per 1000 citizens which is quite low. Lab-made blood could change this scenario forever. There is little-to-no risk of contamination. As of now, this medical miracle is still very-much just a dream, but thanks to whales, we are now closer to becoming a reality.