University of Virginia researchers have discovered a method for doctors to be able to produce blood platelets in large quantities outside the body. Researchers have found a "master switch" to control whether the bone marrow produces cells called megakaryocytes of the type found in adults or the ones found in infants. "We think the pathway we're studying enhances the efficiency of platelet release, and this pathway, we think, could be manipulated in both directions: to suppress the pathway to promote the growth [of megakaryocytes' and then to activate the pathway... to enhance the efficiency of platelet release."

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