How Did the Discovery of the Rhesus Factor Affect Society

How Did the Discovery of the Rhesus Factor Affect Society

Rhesus factor is a part of your claret blazon. Information technology’s the “+” or “-” in A+, B-, O+, etc.

Merely similar A is a blood type from ABO blood group, Rh gene is a blood blazon from Rhesus claret grouping. In that location are other posts on this site that talk about the basics of Rhesus factor, then here I volition talk more well-nigh the evolution of Rhesus gene, and blood type in animals.

Where did Rhesus factor come from?

It did get its proper name from the Rhesus macaque monkey, but not considering nosotros got it from them! Scientists just happened to first discover this blood type in Rhesus monkeys.

It turns out that some forms of Rhesus molecules are establish in most life forms … ranging from algae to fish to man! Even a few kinds of bacteria have Rh molecules.

Rhesus gene has an fifty-fifty more than ancient origin. It’s descended from a molecule chosenAmt. Amt is found in every living affair — even in Archaea, which is peradventure the most ancient life form on Earth.


Archaea are believed to be the most ancient life grade on Earth — and they have some form of Rh molecules! Image from


Wikimedia

Just await, how do scientists know Rh is similar to Amt?

To learn where Rh came from, scientists compared Rh to a agglomeration of other molecules. When you do this, you lot find that other animals have very like Rh! But Rh in other species is not exactly the same. There will be a few changes, which crusade the Rh molecules of those animals to exist slightly different from yours.

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When they did this comparison, scientists as well found that Rh is very similar to a unlike molecule: Amt. Rh and Amt have like Dna instructions. In the same fashion that DNA has instructions for what you might wait like, it as well has instructions for how your molecules get made. You take a piece of Deoxyribonucleic acid that makes Rh molecules – and that Dna looks very like to the DNA instructions for Amt.

Rh and Amt don’t just share DNA sequence: they also have like jobs! Just like Rh molecules, Amt carries and distributes gas within cells.

Since Amt is institute in really aboriginal lifeforms like Archaea, we know that Rh must have evolved from that more ancient protein.

Crystal structure of two molecules


These 2 molecules have very similar structure. They probably have like jobs in the jail cell. Image modified from


Wikimedia

Rh in non-humans

I mentioned that other animals have some forms of Rh … but information technology doesn’t automatically mean that they have Rhesus claret group!

Blood groups are adamant by unlike groups of antigens nowadays on blood-red blood cells. Like to antennas on stereo to grab radio signals, antigens are present on cells to read signals from their environment.

So to have blood type A, B, AB, or O, your scarlet blood cells will have A antigen, B antigen, both A and B antigens, or neither. And to have Rhesus claret blazon, your red claret cells should have Rh antigens.

This means that you just have Rhesus claret group if you have Rh antigens on your carmine claret cells.

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For instance, the worm C.elegans has Rh molecules. But since they don’t have red claret cells, they cannot have Rhesus claret type! In C.elegans, Rh merely transports ammonia gas out of the worms.

Chart of blood types and antigens


Antigens on your cherry-red blood cells make your blood type. To be Rh positive, Rh antigens should be present on your cherry claret cells.

Claret groups in other animals

So far, we accept only scratched the surface by talking about Rhesus group in humans. Every bit of now, there are 36 recognized human blood groups.

And humans aren’t the just species with different claret types!

Cats also have an ABO claret organization, though it’s not exactly the aforementioned as ours. Other animals have entirely unlike claret groups. Dogs can have type A, B, C, D, F, or Tr blood. Pigs tin have Ea, Eb, Ga, Ha, and Ka blood. Horses accept groups A, C, D, K, P, Q, and U.

Like in humans, claret groups in animals vary past region. And just like in humans, it’southward necessary to friction match blood types during a transfusion!

Karl Landsteiner


Karl Landsteiner won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930 for his discovery of human blood groups. Image from


Wikimedia

How Did the Discovery of the Rhesus Factor Affect Society

Source: https://www.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist/rhesus-factor-evolution