As a result of the shortage of blood supply in blood banks, scientists found a way to use stem cell techniques and genomic editing that cause red blood cells to grow rapidly. According to a new TIME article, Dr. Vijay Sankaran and his colleagues took blood stem cells and conducted genetic surgery to find a specific gene that is linked to lower red blood cell production. Then they were able to turn off this gene and allow more cells to be produced. "The process of surgically altering the gene in question and coaxing the stem cells to develop and produce blood cells, resulted in a tripling of the number of red blood cells compared to control stem cells that were simply allowed to grow in a lab dish."
This is a huge discovery in genetics and health because the process could be improved upon to create more blood cells for medical procedures that require transfusions. I know if scientists further this research and continue to perform genetic surgery to alter genes, there will be incredible advances within medical care in curing chronic conditions. If we could alter a gene to produce more cells, it could be possible to alter them to stop producing the cells. Imagine where that could lead us in cancer treatment and could even replace invasive chemotherapy. This is the beginning of major findings in the human genome and the power we have to manipulate it.