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Shenzhen scientists find 11 blood type genes

Scientists with the Shenzhen Blood Transfusion Research Institute have pioneered a medical breakthrough by isolating 11 alleles related to people's blood types, the first instance that this has been done anywhere in the world, the institute said over the weekend.

An allele is one member of a pair or series of genes that occupy a specific position on a specific chromosome. The 11 alleles include 10 genes for the ABO blood group system and one FUT1, an allele that is related to the traits of one's blood type in body fluid other than blood. All the genes were found among the Chinese people, said Prof. Wu Guoguang, the leader of the project. Wu's team also located two genes for the rare Dombrock blood group system in the Chinese for the first time.

The research results, obtained after five year's work, are expected to help determine people's blood typea accurately. There are at least 29 blood type systems in the world and the most popular blood type system ABO alone has over 100 sub-groups. Matching correct blood types is the key to a safe blood transfusion. The results can also be used in paternity tests, stem cell transplants, and many other areas.

Wu's team have discovered more blood type genes than other teams in China. Genes for the same blood type could differ greatly in human races, but most of the current data about blood type genes are found among Caucasians.

Shenzhen Daily

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