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A Wiki about biochemical individuality

Paleoserology

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Human Blood Groups and Anthropology I

Wyman, Leland and Boyd, William. American Anthropologist 1935 37 (2): 181-200.

The overall problem that the authors were concerned with was when the Hirszfeld's made the discovery on the Macedonian battlefront during the first World War the percentage of people that belonged to each of the four blood groups was different in the various racial groups. This discovery had an anthropological importance that it would solve problems of race that had previously not been fulfilled.

The authors set out to examine the reasons of the past failure in solving the problems of race in regards to blood grouping. They also stated their opinions in what the probable usefulness blood grouping might have in the future to anthropogical study.

The authors begin their article with a brief but complete description of how the Landsteiner blood groups work how they are detected between A, B or O, and also that only a trained person can determine the different blood group. The authors acknowledge the fact the many of their readers are familiar with Landsteiner and direct them to skip to the section that directly applies to anthropology.

The anthropological aspects of this article focus mainly on how anthropologists might be able to trace the migration of humans based on the blood type of the races of people. They include in this section a counter argument of mutation of the blood to explain the distributions of the blood groups in Asia and America but the authors discarded this hypothesis based on the frequency of mutation in humans. They also discuss the process of extracting blood samples in the field and how to determine the blood groups of mummies. They conclude that the blood groups are more than likely older than the present races. They are unsure of whether the blood groups can be traced back to anthropoid or if there is an independent origin.

Human Blood Groups and Anthropology II

Wyman, Leland C. and Boyd, William C. American Anthropologist April- June 1935 Volume 37(2): 181-200.

This article, written by Leland C. Wyman and William C. Boyd, offers insight into the study of human blood groups and their relevance to anthropology in general, and to race and migration in particular.

The authors introduce the topic by reviewing, for the uninformed, the formation of the Landsteiner blood groups: types A, B, AB, and O. Detailed techniques and references to further techniques on blood typing are given. They also discuss the ways in which these blood types are inherited and examine, through reference to several different scientific studies and methods, the discovery of new categories of blood typing and their potential informative value in terms of human evolutionary studies.

The article then examines the utility of these findings for the field of anthropology. Maps showing the frequency of blood types A and B in certain global regions are shown, and various hypotheses for the cause of this distribution are discussed. The authors examine blood type as it relates to race and to region. Through this, they attempt to find connections between the origin of these blood types and the movement of early humans throughout the world. Unfortunately, only limited information is available for certain "racial groups," but the authors concluded that, given the present information, blood groups most likely existed prior to the visible racial groups we now see. The authors feel that evidence as to the origin of these blood types, whether anthropoid or otherwise, is inconclusive, and add that there is much work to be done in this area of study.

The article moves on to discuss the other advantages of blood type analysis, which include the detection of blood types for mummified bodies. Here, the authors make a point of emphasizing the value that blood type analysis has for the anthropological field. The evidence and studies provided in this article, while thorough, are dated and readers interested in the value of human blood group analysis to anthropology would be better suited by seeking out a more contemporary source.

Human Blood Groups and Anthropology III

Wyman, Leland C. and William C. Boyd.

American Anthropologist, 1935. Vol. 37: 181-200.

Wyman and Boyd begin their article with the statement, "It is the purpose of this paper to state what in the authors opinion is the probable future usefulness of blood grouping in anthropology." At the end of the article, they conclude, "The blood groups are probably older than the present races, but whether of anthropoid or independent origin it is difficult to say." In the process, they come to the conclusion that it is unlikely "that man came to America before the origin of the blood groups."

The authors open with an introduction to Landsteiner blood groups and the methods for determining these blood groups. They acknowledge that discovering the blood groups to which certain groups of people belong reveals "no more (and of course no less) than knowledge of any other one fact about them." Blood groups do reveal, however, hereditary information. With the aid of a world map, the authors plot the locations of high concentration of A and B genes. They add that "mutation A probably occurred in Europe, and mutation B in the Orient, from which they were later carried by migration." As far as mutation, the authors speculate, "substances A and B might have originated independently in the anthropoid apes and possibly several times in man in different parts of the world."

The authors note specifically that one disadvantage of blood grouping is that it can only be determined on the living, though occasionally, blood stains are usable after being dried for years. The authors mention the testing of mummies with a certain method that may lead to clues regarding blood grouping (and perhaps paternity tests to determine royal lineages).

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