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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
- About Us
Aboriginal Clue to Hepatitis
28 July 1998 7:30 pm
Today is the 73nd birthday of Baruch Blumberg, an American research physician whose work has led to blood screening and a vaccine against hepatitis B. As chief of the geographic medicine and genetics section of the National Institutes of Health, Blumberg traveled the world and collected blood samples from remote ethnic groups to study inherited variations in blood proteins.
In 1963, while testing the blood of Australian aborigines, Blumberg detected a foreign molecule that was rare in North America. He also discovered that this molecule, which he named the Au antigen, reacted with antibodies in the blood of hemophiliacs who were being monitored for hepatitis strains. Three years later, he identified the Au antigen as part of the hepatitis B virus. Blood banks soon began screening for the virus, and by 1971 the incidence of hepatitis after transfusions had fallen by 25% in the United States. A vaccine from his work became commercially available in 1982. Blumberg, who is now affiliated with the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, received a share of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1976.
[Source: Emily McMurray, Ed., Notable Twentieth Century Scientists (Gale Research Inc., ITP, 1995).]