Question: What is the difference between different blood types? is it the arrangement of the the red blood cells?

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  1. Hey pnemo. It’s not so much the arrangement of the red blood cells but what they have on their membrane surface. These things are called antigens and they may be proteins, carbohydrates, glycoproteins (combo of sugars and proteins), or glycolipids (combo of sugars and fats), depending on the blood group system. There are 8 different blood groups/types depending on your genes: O+, O-, A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-


  2. Great answer chris


  3. Hello again, pnemo! You love asking questions, that’s great! 🙂
    Chris has explained what causes the differences in blood types very nicely, but I just wanted to add that there are some other blood grouping systems in addition to the major ABO system that Chris has mentioned.
    There are currently around 30 different human blood grouping systems in total, based upon 30 different antigens that can be found in the blood. A lot of the specific blood types/antigen combinations can be quite rare or are found only in small groups based on ethnicity. This is why we never really hear about any grouping systems other than the ABO one that Chris has mentioned. The second most well-known and important grouping system is the Rhesus system. This is based on the presence or absence of a particular antigen, so people are said to be either Rh+ or Rh- in this system. So building upon what Chris has written, your blood could be described as O+Rh+, O+Rh-, O-Rh+, O-Rh-, A+Rh+, A+Rh-, A-Rh+, A-Rh-, B+Rh+, B+Rh-, B-Rh+, B-Rh-, AB+Rh+, AB+Rh-, AB-Rh+, or AB-Rh- based on these two systems! These two systems are the most important ones in determining whether blood is compatible for transfusions.


  4. Well this has been covered completely so I think I’ll move on 🙂