The INDIVIDUALIST

A Wiki about biochemical individuality

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Born: 1882 Died: 1959

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In 1923, American hematologist Reuben Ottenberg reported that jaundice and hemolytic anemia of the newborn might be due to blood incompatibility of mother and child. Drs. Landsteiner's and Levine's discovery of the Rh factor almost 20 years later proved Ottenberg correct. He was also the first to suggest that human blood groups are inherited according to Mendel's law.

In all, he published almost 100 papers. In notes accompanying his bibliography, Ottenberg indicated that in addition to the first use of blood testing for transfusion compatibility, his most important investigative work was the first observation that patient antibodies against donor red cells could be harmful but not vice versa. This report, coming shortly before World War I led to the use of Group O individuals as universal donors.

Ottenberg first attempted a simple racial classification based on blood groups. However the limited information available at that time made for strange bedfellows (including a "Hunan" group composed of Japanese, Southern Chinese, Hungarians and Rumanian Jews).

Abstracts

STUDIES IN ISOAGGLUTINATION : II. THE OCCURRENCE OF GROUPED ISOAGGLUTINATION IN THE LOWER ANIMALS

The Journal of Experimental Medicine, Vol 13, 531-535, Copyright, 1911, by The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research New York

Reuben Ottenberg 1 and S. S. Friedman

From the Laboratory of Biological Chemistry of Columbia University, at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Pathological Laboratory of Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.

  • Grouped isoagglutination is not limited to man, but is much more widespread than has been hitherto suspected. It occurs in the bloods of steers and rabbits. It seems probable that it will be found to occur in the bloods of other animals. Just how many of the isoagglutinins and the isoagglutinable substances in different species are respectively identical is still to be determined. The work is being continued with other animals. Submitted on March 17, 1911

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