Speed Reading — Blood - Level 3 — 300 wpm

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Scientists from Bristol University in the UK say they have found a way to mass produce blood that would be suitable for patients who need it in hospitals. For a number of years, they have been able to produce red blood cells in a laboratory. However, the process to do that was very slow and they could not produce a lot of blood. The new technique means scientists can make an "unlimited supply" of blood. Researcher Dr Jan Frayne said: "Previous approaches to producing red blood cells have relied on various sources of stem cells which can only presently produce very limited quantities." She added: "We have demonstrated a feasible way to sustainably manufacture red cells for clinical use."

Professor David Anstee, another of the researchers, told the BBC that his team has found a way to mass produce blood, but they now need the technology to actually do this on a large scale. He said: "There is a bioengineering challenge. To produce that much [blood] is quite a challenge….The next phase of our work is to look at methods of [producing more]." He told reporters that to begin with, they would produce only rare types of blood, as these can be difficult to find with traditional blood donation sources. He said: "The first therapeutic use of a cultured red cell product is likely to be for patients with rare blood groups, because suitable conventional red blood cell donations can be difficult to source."

Comprehension questions
  1. What is the name of the university that carried out this research?
  2. What was wrong with the old process of making blood?
  3. How much blood can scientists make using the new technique?
  4. Who is Jan Frayne?
  5. What kind of use will scientists manufacture red cells for?
  6. Which news agency did Professor David Anstee talk to?
  7. What does the professor need to make blood on a large scale?
  8. What did the professor say was a challenge?
  9. What kind of blood will the scientists make to begin with?
  10. What did the professor say about rare blood groups?

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