ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blood group test. Technician using a pipette to transfer a quantity of 'A' antibody to blood samples in test tubes (lower left). The blood has been donated, and the antibodies will test for the presence of antigens on its red blood cells. These antigens must be correctly identified to avoid any potentially fatal immune reactions in the patients receiving the blood. Blood is grouped according to the antigens it has. The major blood groups are A, B, AB and O. Blood is classified further as Rhesus (Rh) positive or negative. The antibodies binding to antigens will identify the blood group. Antibodies are proteins that are part of the body's immune system.
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