A Wiki about biochemical individuality


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The origins of what one might call the 'classical' school of genetics can be traced to the end of the First World War when a husband and wife team, Ludwik and Hanna Hirszfeld, published a paper in The Lancet entitled 'Serological differences between the blood of different races: the results of research on the Macedonian front' (1). This was a survey of the frequencies among the Allied soldiers of blood groups A and B, whose Mendelian credentials had by then been established.

The Hirszfelds noticed that the blood group frequencies were quite different among groups of soldiers from different countries (figure 1). For obvious military reasons they did not have access to the figures for Germans and relied on their memories from before the war for these values.

Source (2)


1. Hirszfeld L and Hirszfeld H. "Serological differences between the blood of different races" Lancet, 2; 675; 1919

2. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, Mnozzi P and Piazza A. "The History and Geography of Human Genes." Princeton University Press, 1994.