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Landsteiner, Karl

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Definition: Landsteiner ( noun) Karl (1868 - 1943) from

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Austrian immunologist, who discovered (1900) human blood groups and introduced the ABO classification system. He also discovered (1940) the Rhesus (Rh) factor in blood and researched into poliomyelitis. Nobel prize for physiology or medicine (1930).

Summary Article: Landsteiner, Karl (1868 - 1943) from The Cambridge Dictionary of Scientists
Born and educated in Vienna, Landsteiner graduated there in medicine in 1891, and spent the next 5 years in university research in chemistry, partly with E Fischer in Würzburg. He held posts in pathology in Vienna until 1919, then moved to the Netherlands and finally, in 1922, to the Rockefeller Institute in New York. His work in medical science was wide-ranging, but his results in immunology and especially on blood groups outshine the rest.Before 1900, blood transfusion had an unpredictable outcome. In that year Landsteiner showed that the blood serum from one patient would often cause the red blood cells of another to ‘clump’ (agglutinate). He went on to show that all human blood can be grouped in terms of the presence or absence of antigens (A and B) in the red cells and the corresponding antibodies in the serum. Either antigen may be present (blood groups A and B) or both (AB) or neither (O), giving four groups of this kind. Using this idea, simpl...    Continue Reading
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