This can take up to half an hour or longer – assuming they have the facilities to test for blood types on site – and this can make the difference between life and death. This new, affordable, and highly effective blood test changes all that, and is likely to save many lives if it proliferates throughout the world.
It’s all based around a segment of paper soaked in a mixture of antibodies and dye.
Your blood type, which is based on your parents’ genes, is marked by an antigen, a type of protein that elicits an immune response when encountering an antibody. Mix the wrong blood type antigens with the wrong antibodies, and they essentially get combative and things take a bad turn.
This strip takes advantage of that reaction by seeing which antibodies react to which antigens, contained within the patient’s blood sample, which shows up on the strip as an altered die color. When tested on 3,550 people, the test took around half a minute to work – with the longest test clocking in at around 2 minutes – and was 99.9 percent accurate, with no lab required.
The stage is set for its debut in real life situations, including conflict zones, humanitarian disaster regions, and remote outposts far from hospitals or medical centers.
This new blood test will be a huge help to those injured in war zones. Drop of Light/Shutterstock
[H/T: New Scientist]