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Research shows NHS could save blood and money

Changing clinical thresholds for the single leading reason for blood transfusions could safely produce significant savings for the NHS, according to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) research published in The Lancet. The results come in the first reported multicentre randomised trial comparing red blood cell transfusion strategies for Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding (AUGIB). The TRIGGER [...]

Repurposed anti-cholesterol drug could improve treatment-resistant anemias

Each year, between 25 and 35 children in the United States and Canada are diagnosed with an inherited bone marrow failure syndrome called Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although rare, this syndrome causes a deficiency in producing red blood cells that is devastating for patients and [...]

Malaria parasite’s essential doorway into red blood cells illuminated

Researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute have identified a protein on the surface of human red blood cells that serves as an essential entry point for invasion by the malaria parasite. The presence of this protein, called CD55, was found to be critical to the Plasmodium falciparum [...]

Quantifying physical changes in red blood cells as they mature in the bloodstream

During their approximately 100-day lifespan in the bloodstream, red blood cells lose membrane surface area, volume, and hemoglobin content. A study publishing this week in PLOS Computational Biology finds that of these three changes, only the observed surface-area loss can be explained by RBCs shedding small hemoglobin-containing vesicles budding off their cells’ membrane. Red blood [...]

Research offers new insights into the survival and transmission strategy of malaria parasites

HP1 proteins are found in most eukaryotic organisms and are important regulators of gene silencing. In short, HP1 induces heritable condensation of chromosomal regions. As a result genes located within these regions are not expressed. Importantly, since this conformation is reversible HP1-controlled genes can become activated without requiring changes in the underlying DNA sequence. The [...]