January 28, 2011 at 10:28 am


By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin’s Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

Here’s something interesting about blood types. Humans have 8 major blood types (although we also have hundreds of lesser-known mutations or alleles that are very rare). We collect and transfuse O+, O-, A+, A-, B+, B -, AB+ and AB- red blood cells, platelets and plasma.

But did you know that cats have at least three major blood types, dogs have at least four, and cows have 800 different blood types? It’s no wonder some of those cows are mad…it must be hard to get some compatible blood in that pasture. What a collection nightmare…100 times the current work of finding enough of those 800 blood types to meet our Jersey friend’s needs. So, there you have it, there’s always a silver lining.