It used to be the case that in the event of needing a blood transfusion you could only get specific types of blood. For certain people that could be a worse thing than others, but it could all be a thing of the past thanks to scientists at the University of Copenhagen led by Henrik Clausen. The Danish team have developed a way to scrub the antigens (sugars that give blood its “type”) from blood cells, effectively transforming it into the universally-accepted type “O”. The process uses two enzymes, one of which is found in the human gut and the other commonly causes opportunistic infection.
??The A and B antigens, which give blood groups their name, are sugars carried on the surface of red blood cells. Human red blood cells can carry one of these antigens, both, or neither; giving four blood groups: A, B, AB and O, respectively.??
For more about this amazing discovery, read this “article”:http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn11508&feedId=online-news_rss20 in the “New Scientist”:http://www.newscientist.com/ . Credit goes to the “American Red Cross”:http://www.givebloodredcross.org for the blood-type chart used above.