*
Two rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the animal husbandry at the German Primate Center. The rhesus element of human blood was uncovered through experiments via such animals. Photo: Anton Säckl


You are watching: How did the discovery of the rhesus factor affect society

The name shows that this characteristic of the human blood originates from the findings of animal experiments via monkeys: Rhesus variable derives from the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta). These monkeys additionally have actually the aspect, and also the name is because of the usage of red blood cells from the blood of rhesus monkeys to attain the initially test serum. Serum is the watery substance that is separated from the clotted blood. Around 1940, the Austrian Karl Landsteiner and also his colleague Alexander Wiener wanted to discover out why, the most essential humale blood group device "AB0", which had formerly been discovered, occasionally had shock results and in some instances fatal consequences after blood transfusions. They wanted to find out why the immune systems of some human being had actually allergic reactions after a transfusion.

For this, they took blood from rhesus monkeys, which are incredibly similar to human beings and via that, they "vaccinated" guinea pigs. The rodents created a protective substance versus the international substance in their blood. From the guinea-pig"s blood, the researchers once again acquired serum, which they added to a hundred huguy blood samples, each from a various donor. The results: About 85 of the samples clumped, 15 remained uninfluenced. The rhesus element was discovered and ended up being the second the majority of vital blood group device for humans.

The rhesus factor have the right to be harmful (also fatal) to human beings in 2 different situations: in blood transfusions and also in pregnancies. Surconfront proteins on the envelope of the red blood cells (erythrocytes) which some humans possess and also others execute not, are responsible for the rhesus factor: positive ("Rh +") through the proteins, negative ( "Rh-") without. About 15 percent of all Europeans carry out not have this variable in their blood. The surchallenge proteins encertain that the blood of rhesus-positive human beings is seen as foreign bodies during a blood deliver from the immune mechanism of the rhesus-negative humale in order to create antibodies against it. A renewed blood transfusion have the right to result in a life-threatening reaction of the immune system of the recipient.


In this video the two a lot of necessary blood group devices, AB0 and also rhesus aspect, are described in detail.


A similar constellation well-known as rhesus incompatibility deserve to take place in women with multiple pregnancies: it occurs as soon as a rhesus-negative woman is pregnant via a rhesus-positive son with the corresponding father. The rhesus-negative organism of the female creates antibodies versus the Rhesus-positive erythrocytes throughout the first pregnancy and during the next pregnancy hemolysis occurs in the kid. Hemolysis, is described by doctors as the dissolution of red blood cells, which, among other things, result in the absence of oxygen supply to the fetus. This can have actually fatal results for the son and in many type of cases it reasons significant health difficulties. According to the doctor Reindifficult Roos, statistically such a constellation occurs in roughly eextremely tenth pregnancy, the risk of such a pregnancy concerns a high variety of pregnant women.

The regime testing of blood groups, which has been possible given that the discovery of the rhesus element, saved many kind of babies in the womb and also additionally recipients of blood transfusions from serious dangers throughout significant surgery. Without the usage of rhesus primates in standard study, this would not have been possible. Like countless other researchers who were dependent on animal experiments, Karl Landsteiner received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his life-saving results.




See more: Do Hot Flashes Burn Calories, Losing Weight May Ease Hot Flashes, Study Finds

More indevelopment about the Rh condition on Wikipedia

Biography around Karl Landsteiner

How the Rhesus element deserve to influence pregnancy

Information about Rh Incompatibility (NIH)


Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung Kellnerweg 4 37077 Göttingen Germany kind of