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Learning the A,B,Cs of blood types

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | June 19, 2012
From the June 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

However, Landsteiner didn’t stay in Vienna for long. World War I had changed the city and so he moved elsewhere — where conditions were more favorable — to pursue his work. In Holland, he accepted a post in a small hospital and worked on something known as haptens, which were influential in the development of immunology.

In 1922, Landsteiner moved to New York City and took a position at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. This is where he carried out much of his later work on blood groups and immunology. In collaboration with Philip Levine and Alexander Wiener, Landsteiner discovered the Rh-factor in blood, which relates human blood to that of the Rhesus monkey, and contributed greatly to the growing body of research for transfusion medicine. The discovery of the Rh factor, either as positive or negative, completed the blood grouping strategy that transfusions are based on today.

In 1930, Landsteiner won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the major blood groups and the development of the ABO system of blood typing. Landsteiner died on June 26, 1943, of a heart attack while working in his laboratory in New York. He was 74 years old.

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