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ABO Mutations

September 30, 2011 at 8:00 am
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By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin's Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

You may have heard of geometric shapes that are infinitely complex like clouds or snowflakes, but there's also our complicated little ABO (blood group) system.


Did you know? A Few Facts about Blood Usage

September 30, 2011 at 8:00 am
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By Julie Ruel, Social Media Manager, Stanford Blood Center

About every two seconds somebody in the U.S. needs blood. An estimated 38% of the population is eligible to give blood at any given time but less than 10% actually do. So blood centers must work hard to keep a constant supply on their shelves and ready to go. And as you know, we all rely on the support of generous volunteer donors. At Stanford Blood Center (SBC) specifically, we provide blood only to local hospitals and depend on the busy Bay Area folks (of which just 3% are active blood donors) to keep our inventory healthy.


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Life, Interrupted

September 23, 2011 at 9:59 am
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Mike Wu was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) in January, 2003, after complain- ing to his doctor about persistent abdominal pain. It was one week before his wed- ding. He began taking a laundry list of prescribed medications that compromised his immune system; he lost about 30 pounds. He and his fiance, Jennifer, postponed the wedding so Mike could get better.


Mammoth Effort: Scientists Turn to Ice Age Species to Develop Artificial Blood for Humans

September 16, 2011 at 8:00 am
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By Lia Steakley, Social Media Producer, Stanford University School of Medicine

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Woolly mammoths, which initially evolved in warm climates where African and Asian elephants now live, migrated to the cold regions of Eurasia in the Pleistocene glacial period. To survive living in the harsh permafrost, the Ice Age icons underwent distinct evolutionary changes such as growing long fur.


Giving Blood Works

September 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm
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By Amanda Baker, Communications Intern, Stanford Blood Center

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On Tuesday, Stanford Blood Center (SBC) hosted an encore of the Giving Blood Works promotion at our Hillview Center. This event brought together donors, recruiters, and career counselors for an evening including a networking techniques seminar, a chance to meet with recruiters from local companies, and an opportunity to sign up for half-hour resume critiques with career experts Lisa Stotlar and Ellen Shulman from CareerGenerations.


Your White Blood Cells at Work

September 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm
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By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin's Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

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Many of us are familiar with the role of red blood cells (RBCs) in taking oxygen throughout the body via the hemoglobin molecules they have inside, and of our platelets' ability to help prevent bleeding through creating clots. But white blood cells (WBCs), our immune system warriors, are a little more mysterious. They make up a complicated system of T-killer cells, T helper cells, antigen-presenting cells, antibody-producing cells, plus others. When a unit of un-coagulated whole blood is spun down to separate components, the white blood cells appear, creating a thin, white layer between the plasma and RBCs.


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Magnificent Maddie

September 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm
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Pulmonary hypertension, overriding aorta, and pulmonary atresia are a few of the health obstacles in little Maddie's life. She has undergone 11 procedures, including three open-heart surgeries, to correct her cardiovascular defects and has received the lifesaving gift of blood with each of her surgeries.


Magical Powers of the Color Red

August 25, 2011 at 10:30 am
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By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin's Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

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Red, the color of blood, was once thought to have magical powers. Cro-Magnon man painted the sick and dead red, hoping to contain the life force. Early Egyptians painted their bodies with blood to ward off sickness. Later, pastes and dyes were substituted in the practice - a forerunner of makeup. In early England, red coverings were put on beds to treat smallpox, and strips of red cloth were used as cures for scarlet fever.