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Aid from Nosferatu? Protein from bats improves blood flow to transplanted tissue

February 01, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's not something we commonly talk about, but the blood pressure in our very small blood vessels, called capillaries, do have a dramatic impact on our overall health. 

Not only is the blood flow in the small vessels important for our overall health, but it is also important in the surgical arena when procedures like skin grafts are performed. 

There are some drugs that can help deal with this issue and work at the capillary level, but researchers at the University of Queensland say that they have discovered a unique source to help: vampire bats. 

According to the scientists, vampire bats produce peptides that can be used to help improve blood flow to damaged or transplanted tissue, as well as help with the pressure in the capillaries.