When a DNA Test Says You’re a Younger Man, Who Lives 5,000 Miles Away

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When a DNA Test Says You’re a Younger Man, Who Lives 5,000 Miles Away Empty When a DNA Test Says You’re a Younger Man, Who Lives 5,000 Miles Away

Post by Guest on Sun Dec 08, 2019 1:57 am

After a bone marrow transplant, a man with leukemia found that his donor’s DNA traveled to unexpected parts of his body. A crime lab is now studying the case.

Three months after his bone marrow transplant, Chris Long of Reno, Nev., learned that the DNA in his blood had changed. It had all been replaced by the DNA of his donor, a German man he had exchanged just a handful of messages with.

He’d been encouraged to test his blood by a colleague at the Sheriff’s Office, where he worked. She had an inkling this might happen. It’s the goal of the procedure, after all: Weak blood is replaced by healthy blood, and with it, the DNA it contains.
But four years after his lifesaving procedure, it was not only Mr. Long’s blood that was affected. Swabs of his lips and cheeks contained his DNA — but also that of his donor. Even more surprising to Mr. Long and other colleagues at the crime lab, all of the DNA in his semen belonged to his donor. “I thought that it was pretty incredible that I can disappear and someone else can appear,” he said.

Mr. Long had become a chimera, the technical term for the rare person with two sets of DNA. The word takes its name from a fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of lion, goat and serpent parts. Doctors and forensic scientists have long known that certain medical procedures turn people into chimeras, but where exactly a donor’s DNA shows up — beyond blood — has rarely been studied with criminal applications in mind.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/us/dna-bone-marrow-transplant-crime-lab.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

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