Marseilles, France, 21 September: At the annual meeting of the French Royal Academy of Medicine today Henri Ecolier, spokesman for the Institute of Cryptocytology, announced the revolutionary discovery of a hitherto unknown blood type by Institute researcher Dr. Jacques leMond. This finding may lead to new medical treatments of a diverse range of diseases, a possible cure for cancer, and potentially significant extensions of the human lifespan, up to and including practical immortality.

The molecular configuration of Type V para-hemoglobin appears to be similar to that of prions, intricately folded proteins which can reproduce themselves and which are believed by some to be responsible for Kuru, Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD), Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, aka "Mad Cow"), and other slowly developing syndromes. In contrast to the one-dimensionality of prion molecules, however, Dr. leMond's nano-scale analysis of Type V blood atomic arrangements indicates that they most closely resemble origami folded paper structures, based on two-dimensional lattices.

Common blood types O, A, B, or AB are accompanied by few if any external visible indications. In contast, explained M. Ecolier, those individuals possessing Type V have remarkable and distinctive characteristics, including amazingly rapid recovery from injury, pronounced overdevelopment of the canine teeth, and a strong involuntary photophobia. Along with other personality quirks they have an aversion to donating blood, accepting medical treatment, or serving in the military. These and other predispositions have tended to keep Type V blood from being detected until now.

In response to questions from an audience of biochemists, geneticists, physicians, and reporters, M. Ecolier admitted that the mechanisms of inheritance of Type V blood remain mysterious. It does not appear to be either a dominant or a recessive gene, for example, and possibly is transmitted by some completely different path than the usual Mendelian ones. "We are, frankly, befuddled!" he apologized, with a Gallic shrug of his shoulders. When asked why the scientist who did the research was not present to discuss his own work, the Institute spokesman stated that it was because Dr. leMond is dedicating all his energies to advancing his experiments and is unable to leave his laboratory during daylight hours.

Details of Dr. leMond's studies will be published in a forthcoming issue of Meta Luna, the prestigious journal of the Institute of Cryptocytology.

TopicHumor - TopicScience - 2002-09-21

(correlates: Deadly Feasts, StatusGenetics, ShameOfCarthage, ...)