By Billie Rubin
In an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich, a hematologist at the University of Toronto, educates us on the history of blood types.
“Blood type is a fascinating thing. Most anciently humans, or pre-humans began as group A. A is the most ancient, so-called wild type. That’s what we call genes – the way they start before they begin to mutate and turn into things that exhibit selective survival advantages. So about five million years ago, this mutation pops up called group O. And around that time, and subsequently, group B developed. Group O is actually a non-expression mutation. So A, B and O relate to what kinds of sugars you decorate your cells and secrete into your plasma and other secretions. Your A sugar is something with a messy name called GalNAc or N-Acetylgalactosamine. B is galactose. And it turns out that group O is actually a non-sugar or sugar-free status cell.” You could say it’s the Splenda of blood!
Click here to be taken to NPR’s website where you can listen to the complete interview.