Tag Archives: blood

Heterozygous Advantage: how one deadly disease prevents another

Neal Krishna Boston, Massachusetts, United States   An allegory of malaria. Process print after M. Sand. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Of all the genetic disorders to which man is known to be a victim, there is no other that presents an assemblage of problems and challenges quite comparable to sickle […]

Drawing blood: depictions of transfusion in contemporary arts

Diana-Andreea Novaceanu Bucharest, Romania   The history of blood transfusion has unfolded in stages, first from experiments on animals, then from animal to human, and finally to transfusion between humans. The subject, in all its intricacy, has been captured by medical illustrators and painters throughout the centuries. Over the course of the last decades, attitudes […]

Blood policies and bioart in the 1900s

Christopher Hubbard Ohio, United States   Image titled The Army Blood Transfusion Service Needs Blood Donors. Image located from the Digital Public Library of America. Rights: unrestricted. Policies related to blood that were adopted in the U.S. during the early to mid-1900s produced cultural and legal effects for certain populations. In 1920, for example, the […]

In the heart of Damascus

Kera Panni Seaside, California, United States   Propaganda in support of President Bashar al-Assad between the Citadel of Damascus and the entrance to the suq, (May 2007). Personal archives, photo taken by author Even as a child in the American suburbs, I knew my blood flowed from Syria. Relatives said my Jiddoo’s parents were farmers […]

Karl Landsteiner and the discovery of blood groups

Safia Benaissa Mostganem, Algeria   Karl Landsteiner (1868–1943), Austrian pathologist, hematologist and serologist; discoverer of the blood groups. Albert Hilscher. circa 1910. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons Karl Landsteiner was the Austrian scientist who recognized that humans had different blood groups and made it possible for physicians to transfuse blood safely. He entered medical school at […]

What can physicians learn from Benjamin Rush, blood, and the Red Cross?

Ryan Hill Jamestown, Rhode Island, United States   Portrait by Charles Willson Peale, Benjamin Rush, circa 1818. Independence National Historical Park. Accessed via Wikimedia Commons. Despite the adamant opposition he encountered from many of his contemporaries, Dr. Benjamin Rush was undeterred; he was certain that bloodletting was the most prudent of all medical procedures and remained […]

The gift of life—from whom?

George M. Pantalos Louisville, Kentucky, United States    Students at the “Banned Blood” display outside the University of Louisville Red Barn, where a Red Cross blood drive was being held on campus in 2011.  The student’s goal was to raise awareness about the FDA lifetime deferral from blood donation of all men who have sex […]

Royal blood: Queen Victoria and the legacy of hemophilia in European royalty

Carys O’Neill Chicago, IL   Portrait of Queen Victoria with her husband, Albert, and nine children at Osborne circa 1857. From left to right: Alice, Arthur, Prince Albert, Albert Edward, Leopold, Louise, Queen Victoria with Beatrice, Alfred, Victoria, and Helena. Known for restoring the reputation of a monarchy tarnished by the extravagance of her predecessors […]

Bleeding science dry: the history of scientific racism and blood

Matthew Casas Kansas City, United States   Help the Red Cross. U.S. Food Administration. Educational Division. Advertising Section. 1917 – 1919. National Archives Catalog, identifier 512661. One might be familiar with the expression “We All Bleed Red.” But what exactly does blood have to say about our “humanity”? Ripe with good intention, the aforementioned mantra […]

Blood’s journey: from lab technology to industrial technology

Cristina Sans-Ponseti Barcelona, Spain   Josep Antoni Grifols-Roig at the injection phase of a blood transfusion using his flebula transfusora (Instituto Central de Análisis Clínicos, 1930). Source: Grifols, S.A. Nowadays, it is usual to see donation centers storing blood worldwide. Blood banks meet the demand for blood in order to perform transfusions and produce plasma-based […]