May 19, 2005

Chimeras: Read Up, Then Watch Discovery Channel

Whoa, this show starts in 20 minutes. But it broadcasts many more times over the next month. There is an extremely unusual condition--it's thought to be rare, but then again, it's often discovered only be sheer accident, so who knows?--where two separate embryos fuse into one. The result: a Chimera, a person born with two separate sets of DNA.

Most of the time, there's no way of knowing or identifying the condition unless there are health or reproductive problems that call for DNA testing (like transplants, transfusions, etc.). But sometimes, the condition manifests itself physically: actual hermaphrodism, different-colored eyes--watch the Discovery Health Channel documentary, I Am My Own Twin to find out.

Some studies show that, like multiple births, chimerism may be more likely to occur with IVF, when several fertilized eggs are implanted at once.

Anyway, here's the text from a 2003 New Scientist article, "The Stranger Within"; here's a Telegraph (UK) synopsis mentioning a possible link to IVF and fertility drug treatments; and here's the DHC program page with a broadcast schedule.


Embarassing to admit I first heard about this on CSI in a story where DNA testing absolved the bad guy until someone said "chimera".

Was Tyler Hamilton the criminal?

I'm looking for chimera study help. My mom has two sets of female organs-completely. She was born in 1957. When she has a pap smear, she has to have two. Thanks for listening even if you have no help.

hello Gianna, Wondering if years down the road seeing your note was written in March of 2006, you found any answers to the question you posed regarding your mothers chimera. For personal reasons I too am interested in any answers. :) Thank you..


No nothing new from what I already know. It seems to me like something people need to study more. I think it has to do with a lot more people out there and no one talks about it. I'm sure she would know more but she does not have health ins.

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