31 Jul '17, 6am

The story of how a worm turned... into a bringer of medical miracles

Ploemeur, France, (AFP) - For centuries, the only use humans found for the lugworm - dark pink, slimy and inedible - was on the end of a fish hook. But the invertebrates' unappreciated status is about to change. Their blood, say French researchers, has an extraordinary ability to load up with life-giving oxygen. Harnessing it for human needs could transform medicine, providing a blood substitute that could save lives, speed recovery after surgery and help transplant patients, they say. "The haemoglobin of the lugworm can transport 40 times more oxygen from the lungs to tissues than human haemoglobin," said Gregory Raymond, a biologist at Aquastream, a fish-farming facility on the Brittany coastline. "It also has the advantage of being compatible with all blood types." Get The Straits Times newsletters in your inbox Sign Up Dr Raymond and his team, which specialises in fish...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/the-story-of-how...

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