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Blood Work

Scientists seek to identify all the proteins in plasma

In his 1998 book Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce, author Douglas Starr traced the rise of blood as a commercially exploited tissue. In the preface, he compared blood to oil and suggested that the former is more valuable. At the time of the book, a barrel of crude oil sold for about $13, whereas Starr estimated that the same quantity of whole blood would fetch $20,000–and more than $67,000 if it were processed. "Just like the oil industry, the blood trade involves collecting a liquid resource, breaking it into components and selling the product globally," he wrote.

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