Chimerism In Humans

Topics: Human, Chimera, Twin Pages: 4 (936 words) Published: January 20, 2014


Chimerism (Dual Genetics) In Humans
Cheryl Banta
Biology 160/ Ms. Galbreath
Tacoma Community College
11/30/13

Abstract
You are the doctor of a 52-year- old woman, who comes to see you, very upset. Blood tests have revealed startling information about two of her three adult sons. Even though they were conceived naturally with her husband, who is definitely their father, the tests state that she is not their biological mother. How could she have given birth to someone else's children? (New Scientist vol. 180 issue 2421 - 15 November 2003, page 34) How could something like this happen? Through a rare disorder called chimerism in which a single person has the presence of more than one set of DNA. I will be researching and reporting on the two most common types of naturally occurring forms of chimerism, tetragametic chimerism and micro-chimerism. Introduction

Chimera: an individual, organ, or part consisting of tissues of diverse genetic constitution. (http://www.merriam- webster.com/dictionary/chimera?) Imagine a single human being actually possessing two completely different sets of DNA within their body. Many of us may presume that could be a result of an organ transplant or a blood transfusion? The forms that I’m reporting on occur naturally by no artificial means, purely through “mother nature”. By either being born a chimera or developing chimerism. Human chimerism is quite rare, there have only been 35 legally verified and documented cases. Methods

I have read clinical studies on the topic of chimerism (conducted by The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation) and many scientific journal articles which have helped compile the information that I have used for this research paper. Discussion

Naturally occurring tetragametic chimeras are formed when at least four parent cells (two fertilized eggs or early embryos fused together). We know that fraternal twins arise from two fertilized eggs that...


References: 1) Ainsworth, Claire (November 2003) The Stranger Within-
New Scientist vol
5) Beth Marie Mole (September 27, 2012) Swapping DNA in the Womb. The Scientist
http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/32678/title/Swapping-DNA-in-the-Womb/ (micro-chimerism)
6) William F. N. Chan ,Cécile Gurnot, Thomas J. Montine, Joshua A. Sonnen, Katherine A. Guthrie, J. Lee Nelson (Published: Sep 26, 2012)
Male Micro-chimerism in the Human Female Brain
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