23andMe customers who are curious about the genetic basis of their ABO blood type, or don’t already know which one they have, can now find out using our newest Labs feature.
The ABO blood group is just one of more than 25 that go into giving a person their particular “type,” but it is probably the most familiar. The consequences of a mismatch during a transfusion also make it one of the most critical to know: receiving blood with the wrong ABO type causes a person’s immune system to attack the donated cells, which can lead to uncontrolled blood clotting, shock, acute kidney failure and even death. Fortunately, these types of mix-ups rarely happen.
The different versions of the ABO gene that give people their type A, B, AB or O blood arise from SNPs that are included on the custom v2 version of the 23andMe SNP chip. We’re now able to use this information to give customers a prediction of their blood type in our ABO lab, our third offering in 23andMe Labs. Like other labs, the new ABO offering has its own community so customers can compare notes, ask questions and share ideas.
In honor of this latest addition, the Spittoon will be taking a look at the some of the science surrounding ABO blood types over the next week. Stay tuned!
(To whet your appetite, check out the SNPwatch posted just yesterday about the relationship between blood type and the risk for pancreatic cancer.)