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Despite public fear against human chimeras, three already exist

| | August 9, 2016
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The news that researchers want to create human-animal chimeras has generated controversy recently…But chimeras aren’t always man-made — and there are a number of examples of human chimeras that already exist.

One way chimeras can happen naturally in humans is that a fetus can absorb its twin. This can occur with fraternal twins, if one embryo dies very early in pregnancy and some of its cells are “absorbed” by the other twin.

A person can also be a chimera if he or she undergoes a bone marrow transplant…Bone marrow contains stem cells that develop into red blood cells. This means that…a person with a bone marrow transplant will have blood cells that…are not genetically the same as the other cells in the recipient’s own body.

More commonly, people may exhibit so-called microchimerism — when a small fraction of their cells are from someone else. This can happen when a woman becomes pregnant and a small number of cells from the fetus migrate into her blood and travel to different organs.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: 3 Human Chimeras That Already Exist

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