Researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada have found a way to convert Type A blood in to a universally accepted form, potentially doubling the amount of universally accepted blood available.
According to Science Magazine, a new study published in Nature Microbiology states that scientists have discovered a way to change type A blood in to the universally accepted type O negative blood type.
O negative type blood cells are universally accepted because they lack antigens, substances that trigger an immune response.
However, according to the American Red Cross, only 7% of people in the U.S. have type O negative blood. Since anyone can receive blood from someone with O negative blood, but so few people have it, it is often in great demand and short supply.
People with blood types A, B, or AB can only give blood to others with the same blood type. Additionally, blood types can be negative or positive for antigens that can cause deadly immune system responses.
Researchers were able to find bacteria in the human gut that produce two enzymes stripping type A blood's antigens turning it in to antigen free type O negative blood cells.
Further studies need to be conducted to insure all blood antigens are removed from the type A blood, but if proved successful, the conversion type A blood would revolutionize blood transfusions.