Little Kitten – Harry Potter and the Order of Phlebotomists

A new blood type test has been developed that takes a page right out of Tom Riddle’s diary:

“The paper device was printed with a hydrophobic reagent (compounds that repel water) except for the areas marked with the blood type letters. The team then introduced antibodies into each letter, for example, antibody A into letter A, antibody B into letter B. 

A blood sample was then added into all the letters, mixed with corresponding antibodies and rinsed with a saline solution. If the red blood cells in letter A react with antibody A, they will clump together forming a large lump that will not rinse clear, leaving a clearly visible letter A.

Professor Shen said such low-cost and easy to understand sensors could be used in disease screening, medical emergencies and disaster response.”

No word on if it can detect mudblood.
(via Monash University)

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • pipenta

    And if your type is AB, then it makes a pretty snowflake?

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Good question, I wonder if that can be posed to Monash?

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    Interesting … but how does it handle the fairly common variant of type “A” that is called “A-weak” where it looks like type “O” when you test the cells, but looks like “A” when you test the serum and find anti-B antibodies?

    Quickie blood tests like this are the most common source of people thinking they are type O and wondering why their type O wife has a type A child.

  • Andrew

    Yeah, as a lab tech, I’m pretty sure that this will never actually get used in the clinical setting. Sure it’s ‘cool’ and all, but it doesn’t hold any advantages that I can see over traditional methods. There are already ‘rapid’ kits that give you front types, and this method won’t do anything to detect the reverse type or screen for unexpected antibodies.

    Even in emergency settings, giving uncrossmatched O-neg blood is generally seen as preferable to giving uncrossmatched type-specific blood.

    • lactose fermenter

      Agreed. I’m also an MT. I see no advantage to this method versus those already in use.