Two New Blood Types (Seriously!!)

This entry was posted by Saturday, 25 February, 2012
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blood types

BLOOD TYPES

 

If you know your blood type it’s probably because you “gave at the office”.

Mister ScienceAintSoBad is proud of you.

If you ever need a transfusion, knowing your blood type may come in handy. A common complication of mis-typed blood is death. If you have trouble remembering whether you’re A, B, AB, or O (or Rh positive or negative), this isn’t exactly going to thrill your pants off but you now also have to know if you are “Langeries” or “Junior” too.

Actually? Hang on to those pants okay? There were already 30 recognized blood types before the new ones came along.

Didn’t know that, did you? Two more blood types brings it to 32.

This is the work of University of Vermont biologist Bryan Ballif (Nature Genetics). And he didn’t exactly “discover” Junior and Langeries. What he did was  get rid of the mystery surrounding them and their genetic structure. Now we know how and why they do what they do.

Your chances of being anything other than A, B, AB, or O are about the same as meeting a Martian on match.com.

(No KIDDING? Well sorry to rub salt into a wound then.)

Ballif’s work is a good thing. First of all, for the small number of people who are in these new groupings this reduces the risk of nasty transfusion reactions. And the proteins associated with these new blood types have some interesting anti-cancer properties which may lead to new therapies. Mostly, this is how science works. One step at a time. Little drama.. Put the pieces together, though, and suddenly things come into focus.

ScienceAintSoBadRating =9. Not bad!

Listen. I don’t want to leave you all worried about this. “Instant blood typing” is common now. So you don’t have to tape your blood type to your nose if you don’t want to. In fact, a team of chemical engineers  at Monash University headed by professor Gil Garnier (Analytical Chemistry) are working on a paper test strip for blood typing. 

 

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Image credits: Maybe I should have said discredits. This one isn’t exactly inspired. But, anyway, it’s all mine


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