Google is celebrating Karl Landsteiner’s 148th birth anniversary with another one of its famous interactive doodles. You might not be familiar with the name, but you would be with his most important work: the discovery of blood groups.
Landsteiner’s identification of A, B, AB and O blood groups in 1901 revolutionised medicine as it made it safer to transfer blood from one donor to another. Before this, blood transfusions had been attempted from animals to humans and even between humans, but they were usually unsuccessful or successful by chance.
But his discovery led to the first successful blood transfusion in 1907.
The discovery of blood groups meant that doctors could now test whether a donor’s blood was compatible with a patient or not, thus making the entire procedure much safer.
Landsteiner won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1930 for his work. He’s also responsible for other important, life-changing medical discoveries.
Along with Austrian physician Erwin Popper, he also laid the groundwork for the discovery of the polio virus in 1909. This was a groundbreaking discovery as it led to the development of a treatment for the disease which affected millions across the world then.
“On what would be his 148th birthday, we thank you, Karl Landsteiner, for helping us lead longer, healthier lives,” says a Google post on the biologist.