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Imagine a blood supply without needles

Genjiro Miwa, president of Kyoto-based Megakaryon, shows off blood platelets produced in vitro from iPS cells.

TOKYO -- Ever since Nobel Prize laureate Karl Landsteiner discovered the A, B and O blood types in 1900, doctors and hospitals have relied on donations to ensure they have enough blood on hand to perform surgery and other medical procedures. But falling populations mean a shrinking pool of blood donors, raising the possibility of severe shortages.

One possible solution would be to create large amounts of blood in vitro. A Japanese startup is working to make it happen. 

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