Researchers used more than a 100 spare embryos left over from treatment at fertility clinics to establish several embryonic stem cell “lines”.
One of those lines, known as RC-7, was transformed into blood stem cells before they were converted into red cells containing haemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment.
Scientists say the aim of the £3million research was to find cells genetically programmed to develop into the O-negative blood group.
This is the universal donor group whose blood can be transfused into anyone without fear of tissue rejection, but is only found in seven per cent of the population.
Researchers also said the aim of the project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, the charity, was to establish a manufacturing process to produce more than two million pints a year.
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