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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- August 23, 1976
- Vol. 6
- No. 8
Lise Desquenne, 18, decided to play a hunch during a Burrillville, R.I. high school biology project. It paid off when she developed a new way to determine blood type using an extract of lima beans. Her process is far more economical than the blood serum technique discovered in 1900 by Nobel Prize winner Karl Landsteiner. With test tubes from her father, a science teacher, her mother's kitchen blender and shelf space in the family refrigerator to store extracts and blood samples, Lise went to work. Curious about the chemical effect seeds would have on blood, she experimented with a wide variety. She was thrilled to observe that the extract of lima beans caused type A blood to clump or cluster when the two were combined, thus discovering a foolproof way to identify that type. Since then she has found that type O clumps with soybean extract and type B with a different variety of lima bean. For her achievement in health and medicine, Lise was given a medal by the U.S. Army, and last month she got another award at the American Medical Association convention in Dallas where her project was on display. Lise, whose early forays into science included the study of gerbils, will enter the University of Pennsylvania this fall to study veterinary medicine.
September 28, 2016
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