I am a great fan of Facebook (when used maturely) and I’m sure to write about this another time. BUT yesterday, for the first time, I read something mildly disturbing on it – I may be an alien! Actually, it made me smile and it is an interesting article.

But not a monkey!

It’s all to do with blood, and the Rhesus factor (RH).  RH positive blood can be traced back to the rhesus monkey and has a an antigen that simulates the production of antibodies that fight foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses. However, people with RH negative blood (like me) do not carry the same gene and there is no known evolutionary connection or explanation of this fundamental difference. Apparently, 85% of the population of the World have RH positive blood, leaving 15% of us ‘weirdos’.

The good news

Apparently RH negative blood provides a natural resistance to things such as HIV, smallpox and bubonic plague (how many people do you know that have been affected by the last two?) although this information has not come from a reliable, scientific source – I will do some research.

The bad news

There is only one disadvantage to being RH negative (apart from being an alien – more later!) and that is during pregnancy, so presumably only 7% of the population and only those who get pregnant. However, it means there us a conflict in the body of a  RH negative woman who carries a RH positive baby and so the two are incompatible. This doesn’t affect the first pregnancy but can affect subsequent ones. The problem occurs when the mother’s blood comes into contact with blood from the RH positive baby because the mother then makes antibodies against the RH factor. However, this doesn’t happen during pregnancy as the blood systems are completely separate.

There is a cure

All is not lost because there is cure! The mother is given an injection of RH immunoglobulin (Rhig) which comes from donated blood and prevents the production of RH antibodies.

I know this works

I know this works because if am RH negative and I had 3 RH positive children (they have children of their own and I wonder if any of them are RH negative?). However, I do know of a RH negative acquaintance who had a procedure during pregnancy to give her baby a blood transfusion through the umbilical cord. Wow! Modern medicine is amazing.

The alien theory

So, the alien theory came along because there doesn’t seem to be any explanation as to where the RH negative gene came from, or why nature would create a situation where a fetus was regarded as ‘alien’ and attacked by its own mother. This has given an opportunity to those who believe in aliens to come up with the theory that there must have been either some sexual interaction between humans and aliens in the ancient past, or aliens have been meddling with people’s genes (presumably those who were abducted and then returned). There is only a few people who even believe in aliens – right? Wrong! According to a recent YouGov report 52% of people in the UK believe in aliens, 24% are not sure!

Blood donation

There are four common blood types A, B, AB and O. People with RH negative blood can be donors to anyone regardless of their blood group but can only receive their own type. Whatever, your blood type please consider donating your blood. It’s a life-saving random act of kindness that we can all do.

Tony Hancock explains

And if you’ve never seen it, here is a famous piece of comedy by the wonderful Tony Hancock, ‘The Blood Donor’ which explains everything.

 

Please Note:I am an early riser and frequently wake up with thoughts and questions on my mind. I write them down and record them in these short unedited, un-researched, unscientific bits of writing. They are written in a half asleep hypnopompic state and should not be regarded as anything more than what they are – random thoughts and musings. For sensible subjects and writing please visit Positive Psychology Learning website