Tuesday, April 7, 2020

the hope brought by a little sea worm

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Initially tested for organ transplantation, the hemoglobin in this worm may help patients who require respiratory assistance.

The hemoglobin in this sea worm is “capable of transporting 40 times more oxygen from the lungs to body tissues than human hemoglobin”. Philippe Giraud / Biosphoto

In a few days, the resuscitators could start testing a hemoglobin extracted from the arenicola, a sea worm well known on the beaches of Brittany (Photo). “The hemoglobin in this worm is capable of transporting 40 times more oxygen from the lungs to body tissues than human hemoglobin. In addition, it is a universal oxygen carrier compatible with all blood groups “, explains Franck Zal, former researcher in marine biology at CNRS and founder of Hémarima, the biotech that developed this molecule.

Initially, this hemoglobin was tested for organ transplantation. When added to organ transplant preservation solutions, it can extend their shelf life from a few hours to several days, and accelerate the recovery of organ function after the transplant. The Pr Laurent Lantiéri (Pompidou Hospital, Paris) who used it two years ago for a face transplant is a staunch defender.

It seems ethical to us to offer a rupture treatment at a time when we will no longer have resources for very serious patients.

Pr Bernard Cholley

Today she could come to the rescue

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