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About Landsteiner's Article

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Read Karl Landsteiner for Your First Scientific Journal Article

Uber Agglutinationserscheinungen Normalen Menschilchen Blutes
(On Agglutination Phenomena of Normal Human Blood)
Wiener klinische Wochenschrfit. 1901. Vol 14:1132-1134


Don’t fret - the article is in English. And while it may sound intimidating, this article is quite easy to understand.

Karl Landsteiner was one of the best science writers of all time.  He wrote 346 journal articles, including this one while working in Austria. The paper is short, to the point, has few big words, and the discovery it reports led to the biggest lifesaving medical advance in history - blood transfusions! It is also the first paper to show evidence for the use of blood for CSI purposes! 

You can often skip over the big words and still understand an academic article. But you need to know the big word in the title:
  • Agglutination - the clumping of blood (hint: note the similarity to the word ‘glue’ in agglutination, meaning the cells appear to be glued together)
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More Vocabulary Words for Landsteiner’s Article


Some people like to review all the big words prior to reading.
  • Isoagglutination - the clumping of blood when members of the same species’ blood is mixed (which does occur in human blood transfusions)
  • Sera - blood serum, the clear yellow fluid seen when blood’s components are separated by settling
  • Hemolytic – the disintegration of red blood cells
  • Coagulability – capable of clotting
  • Rouleaux – a group of red blood cells that look like a stack of coins under the microscope
  • Febrile – having a fever
  • Hemophilia – a disease where the blood does not clot correctly
  • Purpura – a disease where there are purplish/brownish areas on the skin due to bleeding under the skin