You are currently browsing the daily archive for February 27, 2012.
Duffy, Kidd, Diego and Lutheran. Do these names ring bells? They might, but not the way that you think. They are little known, but documented blood types. Researchers in the Biology department at the University of Vermont or UVM, as it is known around these parts, identified two new blood types to add to the list. What? Who knew? In addition to the blood types that all of us can rattle off without thought – A, B and O, there are many more — 30 in all. As of this month, that number now reaches 32.
Langereis and Junior are the two new blood types identified by University of Vermont researchers. While the two blood types appear to be predominant among Asian folks, knowing your blood type and having health care providers familiar with all 32 kinds can save your life.
Bryan Ballif, a biologist at UVM stated that the two new transport proteins are ABCB6 and ABCG2 and are the first new proteins discovered in ten years. Both of the new proteins are also associated with anti-cancer drug resistance so these findings are not only important because they identify blood types but also may provide advancements in some types of cancer research and treatment.
According to a press release from the University of Vermont:
As part of the international effort, Ballif, assistant professor in UVM’s biology department, used a mass spectrometer funded by the Vermont Genetics Network. With this machine, he analyzed proteins purified by his longtime collaborator, Lionel Arnaud at the French National Institute for Blood Transfusion in Paris, France.
Ballif and Arnaud, in turn, relied on antibodies to Langereis and Junior blood antigens developed by Yoshihiko Tani at the Japanese Red Cross Osaka Blood Center and Toru Miyasaki at the Japanese Red Cross Hokkaido Blood Center.
After the protein identification in Vermont, the work returned to France. There Arnaud and his team conducted cellular and genetic tests confirming that these proteins were responsible for the Langereis and Junior blood types. “He was able to test the gene sequence,” Ballif says, “and, sure enough, we found mutations in this particular gene for all the people in our sample who have these problems.”
The research is quite an accomplishment and good news for those people around the world who have one of these rare blood types. According to Ballif:
Although these other blood systems are very rare, “if you’re that one individual, and you need a transfusion,” Ballif says, “there’s nothing more important for you to know.”
Vacation is over — the week came and went pretty quickly considering. So did the company that came along with the week off. We had some family here that had to leave earlier than expected due to a family illness and some other friends who came for a couple days on a bit of a last minute excursion. Family that was supposed to visit us this past weekend wound up canceling due to sick children. It has been a bit of whirlwind, especially in light of the fact that the pain in my head and eye that I had been experiencing off and on which culminated in some wonderful ear ringing turned out to be sinus infection. The antibiotics and my digestive system are battling it out and I am stuck somewhere in the middle of all of it.
The “big” snowstorm we were supposed to get on Friday turned into more ice than snow, although we do have a six foot snowman in the front yard that Tyler and his friend built at midnight when we got back from a hellacious trip home from Massachusetts. It was not fun, not one bit, but the snowman, well it’s pretty awesome.
Now, we’re back to the grind. Back in the swing of things and all that jazz.