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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- 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).]