Microchimerism


In a previous thread, Cill posted a video with a speaker who says that women keep the DNA of semen from their previous partners in their bloodstream. I’d pointed out then that this exact occurance (known as telegony) has not been observed in human women…but in fruit flies.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141001090238.htm

Now, there has been another study done about microchimerism in human women aka the presence of a few random Y chromosomes in their bloodstream…anywhere from 0 – 20.7 male cells per 100,000 female cells. However, this was only found in 21% overall of the 120 participants. All of these women had a sexual history, but not all had a history involving a known pregnancy. (As an estimated 10-15% of potential pregnancies end in a miscarriage before week 8, having an unknown pregnancy is not uncommon.)

While it is entirely possible these women had kept DNA from previous sexual partners in their bodies, there are other more likely explanations to explain these few Y chromosomes. It could have been due to a natural miscarriage of a male fetus that went unnoticed, a “vanished” male twin, or leftover traces from an older brother that crossed the placenta. Interestingly, the highest amount of microchimerism was found in women who’d had abortions.

23 women who’d had abortions = 57%
26 women only birthed daughters = 8%
23 women had miscarriages = 22%
48 women had no known pregnancy = 10%

Due to the significantly higher amount of women who’d had been pregnant but didn’t give birth having microchimerism, it’s safe to assume that the fetuses would likely have been male. Of course, it *is* possible that some of these women did retain a bit of their previous lovers DNA…but then why wouldn’t it have shown up in the majority? Maybe conditions have to be exactly right, or a minority of women are just predisposed to being “DNA receptive”? We don’t know yet, but it’s important to not rely on pseudoscience, even if it “backs up” claims that we think are true.

Hopefully a reverse study will be done to see if men who’d performed oral sex on a previous partner carried some of her DNA in his own bloodstream. It’d be more difficult to test for given that men already have an X chromosome, but could be done, just as a follow-up study could test the 21% of women to see if the male DNA actually matched their previous partners or if it were “new” and therefore indicative of a potential son. Each of these would certainly take a huge amount of work though…

Here’s the study link for people who want to read it themselves:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16084184

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Posted in Tarn, Video
29 comments on “Microchimerism
  1. Tarnished says:

    Related: Another interesting study that shows fetal DNA can cross the blood-brain barrier between mother and child. Note: this can happen with either sons or daughters, but is obviously much easier to test for the random Y chromosomes.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120926213103.htm

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  2. Liz says:

    I’m a little lost on what’s being suggested here. Most of the information contained in the video is addressed in the book Sperm Wars, for those interested. It’s controversial…lots of scientists don’t support it, but it summarizes things.

    Are we saying that numerous sexual partners change the DNA of a man’s offspring in some influential way…kind of like a cat or pup might have offspring that resemble different males? If so, the answer is no. There’s not only nothing to scientifically support that, the video didn’t suggest that either.

    Yes, fetal cells can cross the maternal barrier…that’s why all Rh negative women need those rhogam shots if they have an Rh positive baby, to trick the immune system into believing it has responded to the foreign cells. If they don’t get the shot, her body produces anti-Rh and her body treats the next Rh positive baby as an invader and it might die. Blood transfusions work the same way….a person who has had many transfusions has to have a very complicted blood work panel to find a compatable donor…whereas someone who has not had many transfusions can just take any random O donor.

    Anyone who stands in a metro station and inhales is breathing in 15 percent dead human skin cells. A purist could argue that “DNA” becomes part of the body too…does it matter to offspring? Not so much. And ‘not so much’ is an exaggeration. It matters not at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tarnished says:

    Thanks for the information, Liz. If you commented I was actually going to ask you about the Rh thing. You already answered, you mind reader! 😉

    Been meaning to look at Sperm Wars, is it any good, purely as a read?

    The speaker was saying that a woman’s body keeps the DNA of every man she’s had sex with, which is something unobserved in humans as of yet, but has definitely been shown in fruit flies. It’s people grabbing click bait headlines to support their beliefs without reading the actual studies involved (especially if you read the comments on the video, and the poster’s own assertion of “It backs up the scriptures teaching that of two becoming one body.”). I blame the media.

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  4. Tarnished says:

    Also Liz, as a nurse, is there any truth to what she’s saying about vasectomies at 2:30?

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  5. Tarnished says:

    Reblogged this on Tarnished Sophia and commented:
    My latest post, up on Spawny’s Space.
    Comments there!

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  6. Liz says:

    It has been a while since I’ve read Sperm wars, and I didn’t read the whole thing, Tarn (my husband did, he liked it)….it was an interesting read, taken with a grain of salt of course.

    We all have a lot of “foreign invaders” in our bodies. Consider we’re made up more of cells with “foreign dna” than human ones. We’re mosaics…all of us. There was even a case I’ve heard of where one man’s saliva and sperm didn’t ‘match’. Link here:
    http://www.fsigenetics.com/article/S1872-4973%2812%2900086-5/abstract

    Per vasectomies, I don’t know much about that. It wouldn’t surprise me if there were an autoimmune response…but it probably isn’t a very significant one. But, the proof is in the result…if men with vascectomies are getting autoimmune diseases at higher rates (I don’t know if this is true, I’m assuming not but I have no idea) there must be a reason.

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  7. Yoda says:

    Reblogged an odd term this is.
    Precisely what it is?

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  8. Tarnished says:

    Liz,
    That’s a really interesting link!

    Re: vasectomies
    I was just confused about her assertion of increased risk of arthritis. Is the onset of arthritis related to one’s autoimmune system? Wasn’t sure if her correlations even existed, much less were correct…

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  9. Tarnished says:

    Yoda,

    I just reblogged this post onto mine, so that my readers would know I wrote a new post, but come here to read it (and hopefully comment).

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  10. Liz says:

    Tarn: “I was just confused about her assertion of increased risk of arthritis. Is the onset of arthritis related to one’s autoimmune system?”

    Rheumatoid arthritis (she didn’t specify in the video) is an autoimmune disease. Osteoarthritis isn’t an autoimmune disease…but it’s also related to the immune system because inflammation is also an immune response. Inflammation is the body’s response to an injury, whereas an autoimmune disease would be the body fighting itself like it would a foreign object.

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  11. Tarnished says:

    Hmmm. I wonder which she meant, and where she heard that vasectomies cause this. The fact she mentions “a few brave scientists” are the ones promoting this idea makes me think it’s not an accepted stance by the medical community at large.

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  12. Liz says:

    I found this study, Tarn:
    http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/22/5/1273.full.pdf
    “We found no long-term elevation of risk following vasectomy of asthma, diabetes mellitus, ankylosing spondylitis, thyrotoxicosis, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis or testicular atrophy. There was a short-term elevation of risk of orchitis/epididymitis. CONCLUSIONS: In this large study, with many years of follow-up, we found no evidence that vasectomy increases the subsequent long-term risk of immune-related diseases.”

    From my perspective, there isn’t much reason to refute this. I don’t see a huge profit incentive for manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies, unlike, say-influenza vaccinations. So, I’ll believe the above study until I see evidence to the contrary.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Tarnished says:

    Thanks, Liz.
    While it seemed unlikely that a vasectomy would cause such physical problems, it’s good to know the possibility has been researched and essentially disproven.

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  14. Cill says:

    To meander a bit, one of my rellies was born in the same hospital on the same day as a notorious international criminal. I’ll refer to the babies as RB (relly baby) and CB (crim baby). (To add to the weird coincidences of this story, the initials “CB” and “RB” are ironic beyond belief.) The mothers weren’t related to each other in any way.

    CB’s and RB’s mothers would have talked to each other in the small maternity ward. They might even have held each others’ babies.

    Both babies grew up in good homes. RB grew up to be a good, straight up and down man, as honest and loyal as they come. CB was a monster. He had bad genes. He was a cruel, cunning, ruthless psychopath.

    The two men (RB and CB) bore an uncanny resemblance to each other. If I stare at photos of them, as I’m doing right now, I can barely tell them apart. A man who knew them both tells me that not only were their voices identical, they used the same expressions and “turn of phrase” in their speech. They had the same mannerisms. Apart from the vast difference in character, they might have been two embodiments of the same man.

    When I researched the hospital where CB and RB were born, I discovered they were the only babies born there that day. The hospital was slack in the way it handled the identity of babies. The staff handed babies to mothers willy-nilly, without checking or caring which baby belonged to which mother. There’s a 50-50 chance that CB and RB were each handed to the other’s mother.

    When I look at RB today, it’s as if I’m looking into the eyes of the man who tortured and murdered many people and was responsible for the deaths of countless others with the drugs he pushed throughout the world. Poor RB, he doesn’t deserve it!

    I’ve never spoken to him about this. I’ve only spoken to one person about the uncanny coincidental connections between CB and RB.

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  15. Tarnished says:

    Cill,

    So they’re doppelgangers? How odd, and actually a little creepy. O.o

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  16. Liz says:

    Whoa, that is a weird story, Cill!

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  17. Cill says:

    Both sets of parents were decent people, but one set managed to pass on bad genes. If the babies were handed to the wrong mothers, one or both of CB’s parents (blood relatives of mine) passed on the bad genes…

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  18. Cill says:

    Tarn’s topic is far more interesting. Before I came across that video, I had no idea. My ignorance is profound. It’s gobbledegook to me.

    “A purist could argue that “DNA” becomes part of the body too…does it matter to offspring? Not so much. And ‘not so much’ is an exaggeration. It matters not at all.”

    But… I wonder if there’s a quantity point at which it does matter?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tarnished says:

    It’s just as much *your* topic, Cill. 😉

    By “matters”, what do you mean?
    In the context of childbearing, or just in general? I read somewhere that the majority of DNA in our bodies isn’t even “ours”…it’s actually the microflora and bacteria that live inside us 24/7. The human body (like any other animal) is more of a community than we realize.

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  20. Tarnished says:

    See here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbiome

    Also, I’d argue that one’s ignorance is only as profound as the length of time one willingly keeps it.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Cill says:

    “It’s just as much *your* topic, Cill.”
    Hahahaha!
    If you knew the extent of my ignorance, Tarn, you’d laugh with me here.

    ‘By “matters”, what do you mean?’

    As I understand it, we are our DNA + nurture. Could there come a point at which DNA we weren’t born with starts to effect who we are? I mean “affect” as in affects on attitude, behavior, personality, appearance. And the way my way-out imagination words, I’m even wondering about potential affect on race, sex, gender…

    Enough!

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  22. Tarnished says:

    Ah, so you mean something like becoming a “different” person due to the other DNA present in one’s environment?
    This is what a lot of people (at least in the US) are worried about in regards to genetically modified foods, and how/if regular consumption of them can actually affect us. I worry more about the prevalence of pesticides on everything from the apples in our fridge to the grass in our parks, and the fact that antibiotics are seemingly prescribed for a bout of sniffles nowadays. Using hand sanitizer like it’s water doesn’t help either…we’re all eventually going to have no immune system.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Tarnished says:

    Don’t worry Cill. Even if you become a veritable chimera of different DNA strands, your MGTOW-ness will remain solidly intact! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Liz says:

    As far as becoming a different person, think of it this way Cill, if by microchimerism we’re speaking of “the presence of a few random Y chromosomes in their (the female’s) bloodstream”….consider this for perspective: Humans have, on average, 10 pints of blood in their body. Say you get a GI bleed and need blood transfusions/plasma volume expanders pumped into your veins because you are hemorrhaging your own blood out. At some point your blood might be nearly, or even entirely, “not your own”…yet you will remain yourself. I’ve heard of people dreaming of their donors (say…person receives a heart transplant and wakes up with a penchant for chicken wings he/she never had before, and then learns that the donor loved chicken wings, or something…we’re getting into mysticism there though). They still don’t become someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Cill says:

    Antibiotics etc:

    You’re talking to a convert!

    The thing I dislike most about going overseas is I’ve no choice but to eat their food.

    At home I eat no vege but my own. My vege is delicious! My acid-free tomatoes are divine! I don’t use chemicals and the fert is all made here on my property.

    My red meat comes from my own livestock, which are isolated, effectively like quarantine. They are too well looked after to need medication or antibiotics. There are no liver flukes or saprophytes here. I do drench them against parasites.

    I eat well, I’m as healthy as a bull! Healthier.

    I’ve never taken antibiotics (except maybe from food overseas), no medication, not even aspro or headache pills. I would’ve had some during childhood, but not much, because my parents kept medicine to a minimum.

    Just thinking about it makes me feel charged up, keen, and potent. Look out world, h-e-e-e-r-e’s Cilly!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Cill says:

    “your MGTOW-ness will remain solidly intact!” Heaven forbid that some sneaky DNA should introduce fembottery in me! The thought is too terrible to be entertained…

    Thanks for the comforting thoughts, Liz. They are comforting, believe me. They have staved off certain nightmares tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Tarnished says:

    You sound like me, Cill.
    I prefer locally grown fruits/veggies that i know have not been sprayed down with chemicals. I also don’t take medicine unless it’s an absolute must, and typically use visualization techniques to get rid of headaches on the rare occasions I get them. It’s obviously psychosomatic “healing”, but since it works I’m hardly going to stop. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Cill says:

    The thought of me breaking out like Big Red…
    Brrrrr
    (again, thanks for putting my mind at rest, you two)

    I vaguely remember getting a cold in my childhood, but I haven’t been sick for at least 15 years.

    I forgot to mention, I have had jabs before traveling overseas.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Liz says:

    Glad I could help, Cill. 🙂

    Good for you, staying away from antibiotics and all that rot.
    I’d love a home garden…on this side of the pond it’s almost impossible to get away from genetically modified everything and hormone-laden everything. I DO think it has an impact.

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