Researchers at Rice University have discovered that the protein myoglobin, found in whale meat, could be the basis for the creation of synthetic blood. The presence of this protein allows whales to stay at great depths for up to two hours, while the protein itself retains a stable structure.
A team of biochemists led by John Olson is working to create artificial blood. Scientists plan to achieve this goal with the help of genetically modified bacteria, which will produce molecules based on myoglobin. They, in turn, will be able to replace hemoglobin - a protein found in the blood and is responsible for the transport of oxygen.
Myoglobin is found in the muscle tissue of many marine mammals as well as humans. Its function is similar to hemoglobin, but unlike it, myoglobin is located in the muscles, where it is responsible for quick "ordering" and delivery of oxygen. However, in animals it is much more and it is more stable. By understanding this natural mechanism, scientists will be able to produce myoglobin in the required quantities.
If successful, humanity will receive an adequate artificial substitute for human blood, which is so necessary, especially in critical situations.