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Many Humans Have Multiple Sets Of Dna


VacuumFlux
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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/science/dna-double-take.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

 

 

 

...But scientists are finding that it’s quite common for an individual to have multiple genomes....

 

Twins can end up with a mixed supply of blood when they get nutrients in the womb through the same set of blood vessels. In other cases, two fertilized eggs may fuse together.

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The results [from transplant tests] indicated that she was not the mother of two of her three biological children. It turned out that she had originated from two genomes. One genome gave rise to her blood and some of her eggs; other eggs carried a separate genome.

 

Women can also gain genomes from their children. After a baby is born, it may leave some fetal cells behind in its mother’s body, where they can travel to different organs and be absorbed into those tissues. “It’s pretty likely that any woman who has been pregnant is a chimera,” Dr. Randolph said.

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In 2012, Canadian scientists performed autopsies on the brains of 59 women. They found neurons with Y chromosomes in 63 percent of them. The neurons likely developed from cells originating in their sons... When they [different group than the brain study] looked for Y chromosomes in samples of breast tissue, they found it in 56 percent of the women they investigated.

 

I've known for a while that fraternal twins can fuse and people can be chimeras, but I had no idea that adults could absorb other people's DNA and incorporate it so thoroughly into their own bodies. That's pretty wild. I wonder how many people are actually "intersex", but the other sexed DNA doesn't show up in their primary or secondary sex characteristics so they never know?

 

I wonder what will happen with the anti-abortion debate once this becomes more widely known? One big point of that debate is that once a sperm fertilizes and egg, it's a unique set of DNA and therefore a unique human being with all the rights that entails. That arguement assumes that human = a single unique set of DNA that is fixed for life.

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