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March 26, 2016 | Author: | Posted in health and medicine, nutrition


Chimerism has most recently been popularized by the of the highly acclaimed crime-mystery television show Crime Scene Investigation (C .S .I . The show uses the unusual genetic characteristics of people afflicted with this condition to present the audience with a baffling unsolvable ‘ mystery . The reality however is much different from how it is portrayed on television . There is much more to this genetic phenomenon than is shown and television and this discourse will seek to shed light on this by discussing the nature of this condition and how it occurs , as [banner_entry_middle]

well as dispel any popular misconceptions regarding this issue

What is Chimerism

The term Chimerism is derived from the word Chimera , which was mythical fire-breathing creature with the head of a lion , the body of a goat , and the tail of a serpent . The term was then applied to the genetic condition of a single organism having genetically different cells (Butler , 2005

Chimerism can refer to one of two possible things . It may refer to a person who has received a transplant of genetically and immunologically different tissue . It may also refer to twins with two immunologically different types of red blood cells . Basically , Chimerism refers to any organism which has two or more different populations of genetically distinct cells which come from different zygotes (Syvanen , 2000 . This is to be differentiated from mosaicism which refers to a condition where different cells emerge from the same zygote

Chimerism has been documented not only in human beings but also in other organisms as well , namely , plants , which have different subtypes such as variegated plants , thorn-less plants and graft-chimeras animals , and even viruses , which the USDA calls a new hybrid microorganism created by joining nucleic acid fragments from two or more different microorganisms in which each of at least two of the fragments contain essential genes necessary for replication (USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics

Types of Chimerism in Humans

Chimerism in humans can be one of two things . The first type of Chimerism in humans is the most common type which is called blood chimera . Blood chimera usually occurs in fraternal twins . Since fraternal twins share some portion of the same placenta , in this type of Chimerism , the main site for the occurrence is in the bone marrow , where blood and blood-forming tissue become interchanged (Syvanen , 2000 . In blood Chimerism , what results is that each twin , while they remain genetically separate , now has two distinct sets of genes , and even , in certain cases , two (2 ) distinct blood types

This type of Chimerism is the most common and it is estimated that close to 8 of fraternal twins in the world are blood chimeras . This has also led researchers to believe that as the incidence of fraternal twins in the world population caused by the rising popularity of in vitro fertilization , the numbers of blood chimeras are projected to increase proportionately (Ildstad , 1995

The second and more uncommon type of Chimerism in humans is Tetragametic Chimerism . This is the… [banner_entry_footer]


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