Red blood cells are the only cells in the human body that do not have a nucleus. They develop from stem cells in the bone marrow and eject their nucleus once they reach maturity. Any genetic editing of red blood cells must be done at the stem cell stage. Red blood cells contain surface proteins that determine blood groups and can lead to cells being rejected by the immune system. Removing these proteins could create universally accepted blood.
This piece was created for SynBioExpo in collaboration with Joe Hawksworth from the Toye Lab.