100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Here’s another reason to donate blood: it reduces ‘forever chemicals’ in your body
While the $4tn global wellness industry bends over backwards to sell us dubious detox products, there is an accessible, easy,…
Mysterious 'hobbit' human species may not be extinct says expert in controversial claim
Sightings of an 'ape-man' in Indonesia could be proof the Homo floresiensis species, believed to be long extinct, is still…
Showing you're stressed may make you more likeable – new research
Humans behave in strange ways. We readily reveal our inner feelings during moments of weakness, which doesn’t seem like the…
Early human species nicknamed hobbit 'could still be alive today'
Homo floresiensis, nicknamed 'the hobbit' due to its average height of 3ft 6ins, is thought to have lived between 60,000…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Death could be reversible, as scientists bring dead eyes back to life
Breakthrough hints other cells in central nervous system, such as the brain, could be restored
Plant-based milks are less nutritious but better for environment
A cheeky study finds that chocolate milk has greater nutritional value than trendy oat milk, whether or not it's fortified…
Get all your news in one place
Latest Technology news:
Saudi Arabia, US Ink Deals to Establish Joint Centers in Emerging Technologies
The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed several cooperation agreements with American research and academic bodies to…
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
Era of ‘tech exceptionalism’ must end: eSafety Commissioner
Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant has called on global regulators to end the “era of technological exceptionalism” and to…
Leno Tells Ford CEO He's A "Truck Guy" After Driving F-150 Lightning
Watch an interesting discussion between Jay Leno and Ford CEO Jim Farley as the famous car collector is introduced to…
ICE ally Trust Stamp just fixed a massive security flaw
Names and driver’s license information for a few dozen people have been wrongly released.
Snap Stock Dives, Drags Down Peers, On Big Warning Over Economy
Snap stock plunged late Monday after saying the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated.
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
Tesla Model Y Performance Owner Lists 10 Things He Hates About It
The Model Y Performance is a great electric vehicle, but it could become even better with several improvements, most of…
Clearview AI cops $13m fine in the UK, with help from Australia
Controversial facial recognition firm Clearview AI has been handed a $13.3 million fine by the UK privacy watchdog following a…

The blood groups of humans and primates

By D. Balasubramanian
Speaking of science

We know about how people donate their body after death to hospitals and health research centres for possible use of the healthy organs to the needy ones. And a very common such donation is the cornea of the eye. But even when one is alive, he/she can donate blood. Many cities across India have what are called ‘blood banks’, where blood gathered by donation from blood donors is saved and preserved for later use in blood transfusion.

How much blood can one donate? Blood in a healthy human body is about 7% of the total body weight (the average body weight being 55-65 kg), or 4.7 to 5.5 litres (1.2 to 1.5 gallons).

In a regular donation, the donor gives about 500 ml of blood, and this is replaced in the body within a day or two (24-48 hours). Blood types are determined by the presence (or absence) of certain antigens (molecules that can trigger an immune response), if they are foreign to the body of the recipient. Thus, a matching of the blood type of the donor with that of the receiver is necessary.

Blood types

What are these blood types? They are classified as antigens A and B in our red blood cells. Landmark research on these was done by a medical doctor, Dr. Karl Landsteiner of the University of Vienna in Austria. He collected blood samples from several of his staff members and found that the serum of some of them led to the clumping together (or precipitation), while others had no problem with the donor serum. Using this information, he defined three acceptable types of blood cells which he called as A, B and O blood types. We still use these classifications to this day.

Dr. Landsteiner received the Nobel Prize in physiology/medicine in 1930. A very informative review on Dr. Landsteiner’s work has been published by two Iranian scientists, Dr. Dariyush D. Farhud and Marjan Zarif Yeganeh in  Iranian Journal of Public Health, Vol. 42, No. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 1-6., wherein they estimate that the blood group A in India to be about 40%, blood group B between 25-35% and group O to be 40-50%.

A recent detailed paper by two scientists from AIIMS, New Delhi, Dr. G.K. Patidar and Dr. Y. Dhiman ( ISBT Science Series (2020) O, 1-12) has analysed several reports on the distribution of A, B, O and AB blood groups in India to be 23%, 34%, 35% and 8%, respectively, and that the Southern States have higher O group, about 39%.

The Neandertals

In 1964, the Italian population geneticist Dr. Cavalli-Sforza worked not only with his colleagues to check on the prevalence of blood groups A, B, O and AB in Italy and its neighbours, but also contacted several colleagues across the world, and together published a phylogenetic tree of 15 human populations, and the prevalence of blood groups distributed across the continents of North and South America, South Africa, and Polynesia in the far East.

In addition, he was also able to obtain fossils of Neandertals and Denisovs, from heritage sites in Europe, roughly between 40,000 to 1,00,000 years ago. His group could then classify these populations with blood groups A, B, O and AB. And the latest paper by Silvana Condemi et al., in  PLOS One, July 28, 2021, titled, “Blood groups of Neandertals and Denisova decrypted” point out that blood group systems were the first phenotypic markers used in anthropology to decipher the origin of populations across the world, as aboriginal humans migrated to various parts of the world (Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and Papua, and other places).

Analysis of the blood group markers of some Neandertals and Denisovans showed the presence of the ABO group, and also some other markers that are used today in blood transfusion.

Primate monkeys

Interestingly in their paper, Dr. Farhud and Dr. Yeganeh also quote a report published by Dr. P. Kramp in  Primatologia III (1960) Basel which reports that primates (chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, gibbons) also have blood groups containing AB, A, B and O, just as we humans have.

Indeed, we owe our blood types (A, B, O, AB), thanks to what our primate monkey ancestors had millions of years ago. Just think about it. Our blood is our heritage, just as our genes are — from monkeys to archaic humans and our ancestors to today. Hanuman of Ramayana not only helped Goddess Sita by bringing her to the safety of her home, but has also blessed us with our blood groups.

(dbala@lvpei.org)

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Here’s another reason to donate blood: it reduces ‘forever chemicals’ in your body
While the $4tn global wellness industry bends over backwards to sell us dubious detox products, there is an accessible, easy,…
Mysterious 'hobbit' human species may not be extinct says expert in controversial claim
Sightings of an 'ape-man' in Indonesia could be proof the Homo floresiensis species, believed to be long extinct, is still…
Showing you're stressed may make you more likeable – new research
Humans behave in strange ways. We readily reveal our inner feelings during moments of weakness, which doesn’t seem like the…
Early human species nicknamed hobbit 'could still be alive today'
Homo floresiensis, nicknamed 'the hobbit' due to its average height of 3ft 6ins, is thought to have lived between 60,000…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Death could be reversible, as scientists bring dead eyes back to life
Breakthrough hints other cells in central nervous system, such as the brain, could be restored
Plant-based milks are less nutritious but better for environment
A cheeky study finds that chocolate milk has greater nutritional value than trendy oat milk, whether or not it's fortified…
Get all your news in one place