BioQuakes

AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: blood cells

Not to worry… you’re someones (blood) type!

 

BLOOD

Blood types were first discovered in 1901 by Austrian immunologist, Karl Landsteiner. The classification of human blood is based on the inherited properties of red blood cells as determined by the presence or absence of the antigens A and B, which are carried on the surface of the red cells. So what is the difference between types A,B,AB and O blood?

This picture demonstrates the possibilities of different blood types and their characteristics.

 

Blood Type is Hereditary 

Hereditary is defined as genetic factors that are able to be passed on from parents to their offspring or descendants. If someone has blood type A, they must have at least one copy of the A allele, but they could have two copies. Someone who is type B must have at least one copy of the B allele.  Alleles are one or two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.

Blood types are either positive or negative.  It is important to note that blood cells do not have a charge, the + or – is used to determind specific traits of the cell. For example, the + or – is determined on wether or not the blood cell has the antigen “Rh factor”. If there is a + attached to your blood type, the antigen is present; if there is a – next to your blood type, the antigen is not present.

So What?

Dealing with blood types is very interesting because, according to “Scientific American”, blood type may affect brain function as we age, concluded from a new large, long-term study. However those with AB show a 10% increase of having cognitive problems. From that same study, it was determined that…

In addition to blood types affecting health, blood types also contribute to a persons personality.  According to James and Peter D’Adamo’s work, type A tends to be cooperative, sensitive, clever, passionate and smart where type B people tend to be balanced, thoughtful and ambitious.

Blood type’s current impact on society is very crucial because it gives insight to future diseases, the ability to donate blood to those who need it, and for new born babies be a backbone for their personality.

Comment your blood type below!

 

New Breakthrough in Cancer Research

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A metastasized tumor is a group of cancer cells that have spread from a localized area through out the body. Normally once a cancer has metastasized the patient has a more serious prognosis. In some cancers, metastatic disease can be a death sentence. For years scientists have been challenged with understanding how tumors spread beyond their initial boundaries.

Their questions may have finally been answered. Researchers at Yale University have found metastasis in the brain of a cancer patient with melanoma that is a hybrid of Tumor and White Blood Cells. It is hypothesized that these hybrids may explain how cancers travel to distant sites and metastasize. This theory had been proposed before, but it was not until recently that genes from both tumor and White Blood cells were found in tumor cells. Researchers tested their theory on a sixty-eight year old cancer patient who had received a bone marrow transplant from his brother. Bone marrow helps stimulate the production of white blood cells. No one person’s bone marrow is exactly alike, even if they are brothers. Researchers found that the bone marrow the patient had received from his brother fused with the cancer cells to make a hybrid cell almost identical to that of the patient. This implies that the cancer cells are not just targeting the specific, weak white blood cells of the cancer patient, but also the healthier blood cells of his brother. Cancer can metastasize quicker than we had assumed.

So it leaves us with the question: What are we to do with this information? Researchers suggest that when the mechanism of fusion is fully understood, target therapies can be developed to attack the formation of the White Cell- tumor Hybrids.

Article Source:

http://www.livescience.com/41204-how-cancer-cells-spread-cell-fusion.html

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