Why do we have blood types?


Why do 40 per cent of Caucasians have type A blood, while only 27 per cent of Asians do? Where do different blood types come from, and what do they do?

In 1900 the Austrian physician Karl Landsteiner first discovered blood types, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research in 1930. Since then scientists have developed ever more powerful tools for probing the biology of blood types. And yet I found that in many ways blood types remain strangely mysterious. Scientists have yet to come up with a good explanation for their very existence.

Interesting article about a subject crucial to all of us and yet something few of us know anything about. I’m embarrassed to say I have no clue what my blood type is.

  • impaler80s

    Believe you have Type H. Heineken.

    • Paul Judd

      That would be Jim’s blood type. But he didn’t write the article. Good joke though.

      • impaler80s

        I’m well aware he didn’t write it. I’m not sure what who wrote the article has to do with anything about my comment, since he was saying he wasn’t sure what his type was.

        • Joe Rossignol

          Jim Dalrymple is a known fan of Heineken. Your comment was either a play on that or just highly coincidental.

          • impaler80s

            Again, quite aware of that fact. Ending this pointless thread, now.

    • Moeskido

      The writer of this post does not drink Heineken.

  • We’ll it was quite interesting until it quoted a naturopath. Those quacks do silly things like claim we need to eat diets based on blood types. Or dilute something to nothing, and then claim it has healing capabilities. Bunk and nonsense.

    • brisance

      I thought it was a nicely-written and balanced article, with the scientists rejecting the hypothesis.

  • davebarnes

    “I’m embarrassed to say I have no clue what my blood type is.” That would be foolish.

  • StruckPaper

    Instinctively, one would say, “Get your blood tested right now so that you know your type.” But let’s think this through. In any situation where it is necessary to know your blood type (i.e. hospital), they can find out within 1 minute. So, no, it’s not the end of the world (or your life) not to know it. But not knowing it suggests you’re not a donor. Giving the gift of life is worth considering …

  • James

    Knowing your blood type is surprisingly not useful. Anyone who’s going to transfuse you is going to test the units rather than rely on your memory because of the substantial risk of death if you’re mistaken.