ABO Blood Type Identification and Forensic Science (1900-1960)
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The use of blood in forensic analysis is a method for identifying individuals suspected of committing some kinds of crimes. Paul Uhlenhuth and Karl Landsteiner, two scientists working separately in Germany in the early twentieth century, showed that there are differences in blood between individuals. Uhlenhuth developed a technique to identify the existence of antibodies, and Landsteiner and his students showed that humans had distinctly different blood types called A, B, AB, and O. Once doctors differentiated blood into distinct types, they could use that information to safely perform blood transfusions. Furthermore, forensic scientists could use that information to exculpate people suspected of some types of crimes, and they could use it to help determine the paternity of children.