Scientists Have Discovered A New Blood Type!
There are type O, type A, and type B, but what if scientists have yet to discover a rare blood combination or compound? Doctors recently found a new blood type in a UK hospital after operating on a woman who unexpectedly lost her newborn child. Unidentified antibodies were found in the mother’s blood, leading scientists to investigate the unfamiliar cells more deeply. It’s led to the discovery of a new blood type, labeled Er.
A blood sample was sent to a Bristol lab that specializes in examining blood groups. When they started to identify the sample, the scientists realized that the type was ultrarare, which may have provided complications for the mother’s baby. These researchers think it’s plausible that the woman’s antibodies recognized the baby as a foreign object, deciding to attack the womb and the unborn baby inside.
Though this seems absurd, antibodies attacking a child in the womb aren’t entirely uncommon and were documented more frequently decades ago when blood grouping had a minimal understanding. After discovering that the mother’s blood had unexpectedly rare elements, the scientists examined the cells to find out what exactly made the compound different. After much research and discovery, they decided to create a new blood type and grouping system, “Er.”
According to Wired, the Er system is the 44th system to be named by scientists. Though A, B, O, and AB are the main blood types people ascribe to, this isn’t the only system that helps identify and classify blood. While the four significant types help determine people’s antibodies, grouping systems can be more thorough due to the inclusion of sugars and proteins that coat the individual’s blood.
Though 44 different systems might be unheard of to the average person, there are more classifications for blood that scientists and doctors are familiar with than the four main types. Over the past decade, one new blood type or system has been identified each year. The types discovered each year are profoundly rare, which makes classifying them correctly a world of difference for blood donation processes or other transfusion operations.
Nicole Thornton at NHS Blood and Transplant in the United Kingdom is one of the premier researchers for antibody peculiarity. Thornton and her team investigate scarce blood types, which are sent to the lab when hospitals have issues identifying samples. In 2020, the researchers discovered a brand new blood type, MAM-negative, which had only been assigned to 11 people worldwide.
Exceptionally rare blood classifications are often found in single families, realizing certain blood types can be exclusive to genetic relations. On even more infrequent occasions, certain people will have unusual antibody combinations from different parts of the world. With the new Er detection, Thornton and her team found that the mother’s blood was identical to the previous samples, with no familial relation.
Thornton discovered a protein variation in Er blood that made it rarer than other blood types. The protein, Peizol, was the culprit for the subject’s incompatibility with different blood classifications. Though the classification’s discovery has evidence to support its finding, the new system won’t be formally ratified until the upcoming International Society of Blood Transfusion meeting.
The post Scientists Have Discovered A New Blood Type appeared first on Tell Me Best.