## Karl Landsteiner, discoverer of blood groups

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### Karl Landsteiner, discoverer of blood groups

Karl Landsteiner
(June 14, 1868 - June 26, 1943)
Born in Austria

$\mathbb{Landsteiner, \;who \;died\; in \;June \;1943,\; would\; have\; been \;148 \;years\; old\; on \;June \;14\;2016}$ (Today)

Karl Landsteiner was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1868.In 1901, Landsteiner discovered that different people's blood had different characteristics that made it "incompatible" with other people's blood that didn't carry those same traits. He discovered the A, B, and O blood types. His discovery of the differences and identification of the groups that were alike made it possible for blood transfusions to become a routine procedure.Before he discovered that people had different blood group types, people routinely bled to death from ulcers, accidents, and childbirth problems. No one knew that there were four different types of blood (A, B, AB, and O) and that if you gave a person the wrong type of blood, they could die from a reaction between their blood and the donor's blood. If a person receives the wrong type blood, a terrible reaction begins. This can start a chain reaction of other problems, in which the red blood cells will begin to react with the new blood cells, and then the cells will actually lose, or fall apart, in the blood vessels. This releases hemoglobin that can damage the kidneys, which can lead to death.

Landsteiner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930 for his discovery, but his achievements extended to other areas as well. He worked for over a decade on immunity and antibodies and, in collaboration with physician Erwin Popper, isolated the virus that causes polio in 1908, which in turn allowed the creation of a vaccine.

Sources:

http://www.cnet.com/news/karl-landsteiner-discoverer-of-blood-groups-honoured-in-google-doodle/

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1930/landsteiner-bio.html

http://www.biography.com/people/karl-landsteiner-9372736

http://scienceheroes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=128&Itemid=137

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