Medicine: The Rh Factor

The mysterious Rh factor-in human blood had disturbed the serenity of many a mother-to-be. For if a wife's blood were Rh negative and a husband's Rh positive, their child might be stillborn, or born with erythroblastosis fetalis, characterized by anemia and jaundice.

What happens is that the baby's red blood cells which contain the Rh factor become mixed in some unknown way with the Rh negative blood of the mother. Result: to combat the invading cells, her tissues produce destructive antibodies. These then diffuse back into the unborn child's blood stream, attacking the blood cells, causing the disease.

Last week, at a convention...

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