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Diagnostic blood test inventor dies

Posted by tumicrobiology on March 27, 2006

LONDON, March 27 (UPI) — British immunologist Robin Coombs, inventor of a widely used blood test named for him, has died at the age of 85.

Coombs invented the test that's used to diagnose anemia and to test for the presence of antigens in Rh disease, which affects about 4,000 babies a year because the mother's blood is incompatible with that of her fetus.

The British Society for Immunology, a group he helped found, reported Coombs died Jan. 25, but his death was not widely reported in the British press until this month, The New York Times said Monday.

Robert Royston Amos Coombs was born in London and grew up in South Africa and spent most of his academic career at Cambridge University, retiring during the late 1980's.

He is survived by his wife, Anne; a son, Robert; a daughter, Rosalind; and four grandchildren.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

(TUMDF thinks that this news can be of interest to TU Microbiologists.)

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