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Blood From a Stone? No. Blood From Rice? Sure

Blood From a Stone? No. Blood From Rice? Sure
By Mary Quinn O'Connor

Published October 31, 2011
| FoxNews.com
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Dracula may have a square meal at last.

Researchers in China believe they have found a way to produce and harvest large quantities of human serum albumin (HSA) -- a blood protein that is widely used in drug and vaccine production -- from ordinary grains of rice.

“It looks like an interesting technological step forward,” Dr. Richard J. Benjamin, chief medical officer for the American National Red Cross, told FoxNews.com. “It could potentially produce large quantities in a reasonable time.”

According to the study, Yang He and his colleagues discovered a way to produce the protein in rice seeds and were able to purify the HSA from it, obtaining about 2.75 grams of HSA per kilogram of rice. The protein was tested on rats and they found that the rice-produced HSA was chemically equivalent to the blood-derived version.

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