Eli5: Why can’t we produce “artificial” blood?

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Healthcare systems depend on blood donations, which are harmless for the donors because humans usually just reproduce blood and can repeat the process over and over. What about blood is so special that we can’t manufacture it in a lab or replace is with artificial blood?

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Blood is literally alive. It has a lot of red blood cells and white blood cells, which are alive. We cannot produce live cells artificially with current technology.

Well it seems to be something we are working on developing. But my guess would be it’s just not so easy retro-engineering (?) something that was a billion years in development and putting it in bodies that look to destroy anything that doesn’t belong.

The immune system would reject it. It’s a finicky thing. We can’t even transplant organs without heavy doses of anti rejection treatments and you wanna have artificial blood coursing through the entire body? Terrible Idea.

Your best bet is to engineer an organism based on humans that does next to nothing besides eat, produce blood, and “donate” blood. It would be horrific and disgusting, but would work.

It might be hard to grasp but blood is, for all intents and purposes, an organ. So you can’t make blood for the same reason you can’t make skin, hair or a brain.