Blog

July 15, 2019
convert_typea_to_typeo_blog

The idea of using enzymes to turn a common blood type into a rarer one has been around since 1982.

But a recent paper published in the journal Nature Microbiology has shown progress in converting type A-negative blood to the relatively rare O- negative using enzymes from a human gut bacteria.

“This is a very exciting discovery,” said Scott Jones, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global. “If it works out as planned, this discovery could change blood banking and allow blood centers to have more type O blood on the shelves by converting type A blood to type O.”

A, B and AB blood types are defined by the presence of molecules on the surface of red blood cells, while type O is defined as not having either the A or B molecule.

July 8, 2019
court_rules_in_fda_favor_blog

A federal court has agreed with the Food and Drug Administration that a Florida clinic adulterated and misbranded a stem cell drug product made from a patient’s fat tissue.

The summary judgment against US Stem Cell Clinic, US Stem Cell and the company’s chief medical officer affirms the FDA’s regenerative medicine policy and its risk-based approach to the enforcement of cell-based products. US Stem Cell has agreed for now to stop producing and administering treatments from adipose tissue.

The FDA also has sought a permanent injunction against a California-based company, seeking to stop it from selling unapproved cellular therapy products.

July 1, 2019
blood_donations_womens_health

Women who donate blood regularly showed a reduction in risk factors for heart disease, a recent Dutch study showed in preliminary results.

No difference was noted for men. The results were published in the journal Blood.

The heart health benefit becomes another positive factor for making donating a habit.

“Doing something good like giving blood warms your heart emotionally, and now a study shows it may help your heart physically, too,” said Dr. Samantha Gomez Ngamsuntikul, Associate Medical Director at BioBridge Global.

Researchers in The Netherlands analyzed records from 159,934 whole blood donors who had been donating for at least 10 years. Data for donations and death from heart disease were acquired from Dutch hospitals and the country’s national personal records database.

June 24, 2019
Irma_villarreal_40years

When the South Texas Regional Blood Bank moved from San Pedro Avenue to the old YWCA building in downtown San Antonio in 1984, the space for blood collections was limited, to say the least.

“We had four chairs and one TV,” recalled Irma Villarreal, who helped with the move five years after she started with the organization. “The machines were so loud we had to turn up the TV full blast. And then people would get upset because you could hear that TV all over the building.”

Other things have changed since Villarreal started with the organization as an HLA typing expert, including her job description. Currently, she is Director, BioBridge Global Quality & Compliance.

“Where do you start?” she replied when asked about all her job titles.

June 17, 2019
grief_support_blog

Susan Smith has seen how the death of a loved one can lead to illness among survivors.

“Grief is as hard on the body as stress,” said Smith, the Grief Support and Life Legacies Manager at GenCure. “I have seen it more than a few times.”

Researchers at the University of Arizona went back and looked at studies about the “broken heart” effect, and then focused on 13 studies from the last 40 years. They recently published their findings, titled “A Systematic Review of the Association Between Bereavement and Biomarkers of Immune Function,” in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine

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