General, Research, Technology

Why do people have different blood types?

If all you know about blood is what it isred, it's time to catch up. Blood is known to be made up of many different components. It contains both red blood cells (erythrocytes), which carry oxygen and help fight infection, and white blood cells (leukocytes), which function in the body to protect against pathogens. There are also platelets (platelets), which are involved in blood clotting processes. And then there is plasma, which supplies the body with nutrients. In addition to proteins, salts, enzymes and trace minerals, plasma also contains antibodies that your immune system uses to fight off invaders such as microbes and bacteria. It is interesting that mankind was not aware of the existence of several blood groups until 1900. It was then that the Austrian immunologist Karl Landsteiner discovered that there are several blood types. A, B and ABOUT... Landsteiner's discovery was life-changing:before the discovery of blood groups, the vast majority of person-to-person blood transfusions ended tragically. But what makes one blood group different from another? It's all the fault of antigens - the coating around red blood cells, which helps the body to determine which cells are its own and which are foreign. Read more in this article.

Did you know that blood groups exist not only in humans, but also in animals?

How is blood classified?

One of the most important scientific discoveries in historyof our species was a discovery confirming the biological diversity of humans. In 1930, physician Karl Landsteiner was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work. Several years later, scientists discovered the fourth blood group AB... However, by the middle of the 20th century, scientists receivedconfirmation that the compatibility of people by the immunological characteristics of blood is not limited to the classical division into four blood groups. A protein (in medicine, designated by the Latin letter D) was found to be present in the blood of approximately 85% of people, which meant that the remaining 15% did not have this protein.

If a person with protein D in the blood (85%) is transfused with human blood without protein (15%), then the recipient's body begins to produce antibodies to this protein, that is, this substance is antigen. The presence or absence of protein D in blood has allowed scientists to classify blood according to the Rh factor. If protein D is present in your blood, it means that your Rh factor is positive (Rh +)and you belong to the majority, thus 85%. But if this antigen is not in your blood, then your Rh factor is negative (Rh-)... The Rh factor does not change throughout life.

Human blood contains antigens - proteins and other molecules present on the outside of red blood cells. It is they who help determine what blood type you have.

Note that blood type classification is important.for things like blood transfusions, which replace blood lost from surgery, accidents, and bleeding disorders. Mixing one blood type that is incompatible with another, thanks to things like antigens and Rh factor, can be fatal. Blood health is essential for a healthy life.

How many blood groups are there?

Today, the vast majority of people have one of eight blood groups. Blood is classified according to the systemgroups opened by Landsteiner - AVO. If you have A antigens in your blood, your blood type is A. If you have B antigens, your blood type is B. Some people have both A and B antigens at the same time, which gives them AB blood. But people with blood group O do not have either A or B antigens. Each of these types is further broken down based on their Rh factor - in some people it is positive (Rh +), in others it is negative (Rh-). Interestingly, very few people have no Rh factor at all. But what does it depend on?

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How common or rare is the groupblood depends on race, ethnicity and which part of the world you live in. In the book "Blood Groups and Erythrocyte Antigens", it is said that blood type B is common in people in Asia, while blood type A is common in Central and Eastern Europe. In the United States and Western Europe, O-positive blood type is the most common, as is the presence of a positive Rh factor. The fourth negative blood group is the rarest on the planet.

Each parent contributes one of their two allelesA, B, or O (gene form) to the child's blood group. The O allele is considered a recessive gene, which means that it is not always expressed. Thus, if a woman with OO alleles gives birth to a child from a man with BB alleles, the child will have blood type B.

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It is important to understand that you areinherited from their parents and you can never change it, just as you cannot change the color of your eyes. The child inherits from the parents that blood group whose gene is dominant (A and B are always dominant). If one of the parents has a blood group, and the other has a B, then the child has a theoretical opportunity to become the owner of any of the four blood groups. But if a child inherits the O gene from one of the parents, and the A gene from the other, then his possible blood groups will be A or O; if the O gene is inherited from both parents, then all children will have an O blood group. Recently, researchers from Emory University School of Medicine drew up a diagram of which blood types can arise, for more details on the diagram, visit the university's official website.