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Vol. 343 ,
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
- 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).]