Blood is classified by the presence or absence of antigenic substances that lie on the surface of red blood cells. These may be glycolipids (lipids with a carbohydrate attached), carbohydrates, glycoproteins or proteins.
Each blood type is only compatible with certain ones, but every blood type is compatible with the type O negative blood group. A person with this blood type can only receive blood from a type O negative donor.
An enzyme has been discovered by scientists, which removes the antigens from A and B blood types, making them similar to the type O. This is a huge discovery, since compatibility is a huge issue when donating blood.
The enzyme simply cuts away the antigens from the surface of the red blood cells, making the blood type more alike the type O one. In the past, this has been difficult to achieve, due to the large amount of enzymes needed for the process. But by using directed evolution, scientists have been able to create an enzyme that’s 170 times more effective than its past ancestors. This means that the huge number of enzymes that was once needed to make this change has been lowered by almost 200 times.
The process is currently not 100% effective, but scientists are optimistic that it will soon be.
Sursa foto: tribune.com.pk