A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia claims that they may have found a reliable way to convert a less-usable donor blood type into type O, a universal type that can be received by anyone.
With the help of a technique called metagenomics, the scientists managed to take a large number of microbes from a sample of human feces and get a snapshot of all the DNA found in the gut. After that, they isolated bacterial genomes from the sample and tested thousands of enzymes, pitting them against sugary proxies that resembled blood A and B antigens.
One enzyme was more effective at stripping away A antigens from red blood cells. Also, the researchers were able to combine the new enzyme with one that’s already known to remove B antigens from blood cells, providing a way to convert AB, A and B blood into type O.