Do you carry DNA of former lovers in your body?

Discussion in 'Sisters' Corner' started by Hator, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. Hator

    Hator Active Member

    This Study Will Make You Think Twice About Who You Get Into Bed With

    This bit of science arcanum is especially cringe-worthy.

    Many years ago, scientists first discovered that a large minority of women have Y-chromosome gene sequences in their blood. At first glance, this seems strange. Men are born with Y-chromosomes but most women are not. The male cells in these women must’ve come from somewhere else.

    But where?

    The most obvious source is a fetus. Nearly every woman who has ever been pregnant or had a baby has cells from her fetus circulating in her bloodstream. These cells filter through the placenta and reside in the mother’s bloodstream and/or organs — including her heart and brain — for the rest of her life. This condition is called microchimerism, named after the Greek chimera, a creature composed of the parts of multiple animals. Pregnancy-related microchimerism explains why women with sons would have Y-chromosome sequences in their blood.

    This is fascinating enough. But how do you explain why women without sons also have male cells circulating in their bloodstream?

    This was the subject of a study by immunologists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. They took blood samples from 120 women without sons and found that 21 percent of them had male DNA. Women were then categorized into four groups according to pregnancy history: women with daughters only, spontaneous abortions, induced abortions, and no children/no abortions.

    While the number of women bearing male DNA was highest in the groups that had abortions (nearly 80 percent), women who had only girls or no babies (20 percent) also had male cells in their blood. For no apparent reason.

    There are other reasons why women in the fourth group carried male cells: inherited in the womb from a male twin that passed, from a miscarriage they did not know about, from their mother via an older brother…

    Or through sexual intercourse.

    There remains a possibility, however remote, that cells from a lover may pass be transmitted during sex. Those cells may hang out forever in the recipient’s body, taking residence in any organ. These cells are the imprint of lovers past, a trace of living history.

    Might a woman’s bodily fluids enter a cut in a man’s genitals as well? Could men carry around the genes of women they’ve slept with?

    The imagination is stirred. What are those foreign cells doing in hearts and minds? Are they wreaking havoc in our heads? Do the cells of former lovers clash? In a science fiction scenario a person could even take a drop of her own blood, isolate a cell from her former boyfriend, and clone him. Then do with him what she will.

    The upshot of this research? It’s yet another reason to use a condom.

    - See more at:
  2. Mawuli

    Mawuli TheGuide Staff Member

    Here is a video talking about the topic

  3. Hator

    Hator Active Member

    Ghosts of mother's sexual past show up in fly offspring, study shows


    What if that sexual partner you'd rather forget remained forever a part of your life?
    Sydney scientists have shown for the first time that offspring can resemble their mother's previous sexual partner – in flies, at least.
    The research team, led by evolutionary ecologist Angela Crean, propose that sperm from a previous partner can penetrate a developing egg, influencing its growth despite being sired by another male.
    Dr Crean said her team were shocked when their experiments revealed they had discovered a new form of non-genetic inheritance.

    "We did a lot of follow-up studies to check our results," she said.

    First proposed in ancient Greece, the idea that offspring can inherit characteristics from their mother's previous mate – known as telegony – was discredited when scientists established more than a century ago that genes were the dominant way traits passed from parent to offspring.

    "Before we discovered genetics it was widely believed that [telegony] occurred, and it was even spoken about by Darwin in The Origin of Species," Dr Crean, from the University of NSW, said.

    "But once we figured out genetics, it didn't make sense under than mechanism, so it was just dismissed."

    But more recently other forms of non-genetic inheritance have been observed, including work by Dr Crean which found a father's environment could influence the size of their offspring.
    For instance, flies fed a nutrient-rich diet as maggots grew into bigger insects and then passed this condition onto their offspring.

    Maggots fed a poor diet become smaller adults, as did their offspring.

    "That's why we know it was not a genetic effect, because we manipulated the condition of the flies ourselves," she said.

    To uncover how these traits were being passed between parent and offspring, Dr Crean and her collaborator Russell Bonduriansky took the research a step further, mating the small and large male flies with females and then studying their young.
    They found that the size of the young was determined by the size of the first male the mother mated with, rather than the second male that sired the offspring. Their results are published in the journal Ecology Letters.

    "Now we have to go down the very difficult path of trying to figure out how this happens," she said.

    Dr Crean said it was likely something in the semen was influencing the growth of fly offspring. "But there are hundreds of different molecules in the semen, [so] it could be quite challenging to figure that out."
    Dr Crean said this type of non-genetic inheritance had not been observed in other species, but there were clues from rodent studies that the phenomenon may be more widespread.

    Source: Crean AJ, Kopps AM, Bonduriansky R. Revisiting telegony: offspring inherit an acquired characteristic of mother’s previous mate. Ecology. 2014.

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