On Vector: The platelet whisperers

platelet concentrate by Iqbal Osman on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license. https://flic.kr/p/fEgecv

Platelets ready for delivery. (Iqbal Osman/Flickr)

Yesterday on Boston Children’s Hospital’s Vector I posted a piece about the search for the elusive trigger that gets the body to produce platelets, those little cellular fragments that act like the bloodstream’s bandaids:

Looking down at my bandaged finger—a souvenir of a kitchen accident a few nights prior—Joseph Italiano, PhD, smiles and says to me, “You should have come by, we could’ve given you some platelets for that.”

The problem is that Italiano really couldn’t; he needs every platelet his lab can put its hands on. A platelet biologist in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Vascular Biology Program, Italiano is trying to find ways to manufacture platelets at a clinically useful scale.

To do that, he needs to develop a deep understanding of the science of how the body produces platelets, something that no one has at the moment.

Read the rest here.



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