Karl Landsteiner Google Doodle celebrates discoverer of blood groups

14 Jun 2016

A new Google Doodle celebrates Karl Landsteiner whose discovery of blood groups has saved millions of lives

A new Google Doodle celebrates what would have been the 148th birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the Austrian-American biologist and physician whose discovery of blood groups saved millions of lives.

In 1901, Karl Landsteiner distinguished the main blood groups and developed the modern system of classification of blood groups into A, B, AB and O from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in blood.

Today’s Google Doodle is a visual treat showing Landsteiner standing beside vials of the A, B, AB and O blood groups.

Karl Landsteiner’s 148th birthday

The first successful blood transfusion occurred in 1907 as a direct result of his work, which led to advances in medicine, therapies and surgery.

Not only that, but in 1909, with Constantin Levaditi and Erwin Popper, he discovered the polio virus.

In 1930 he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

And, in 1937, he identified with Alexander Wiener the Rhesus factor, which enabled physicians to transfuse blood without endangering the patient’s life.

“On what would be his 148th birthday, we thank you, Karl Landsteiner, for helping us lead longer, healthier lives,” Google said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years