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Chimera (genetics)

A genetic chimerism or chimera (also spelled chimaera) is a single organism composed of cells with distinct genotypes. In animals, this means an individual derived from two or more zygotes, which can include possessing blood cells of different blood types, subtle variations in form (phenotype), and if the zygotes were of differing sexes then even the possession of both female and male sex organs

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Information on the history and types of Chimeras, as well as questions raised by one being their own twin.

Contributed by Jessica Kalmazu Stimely

Chimeras are usually made by the DNA of twins being shared before being born. This can make people appear to be co-dominant for traits that are not usually co-dominant, such as eye color. Both twins may or may not live, but usually at least one is born. The severity of the chimerism can lead to the immune system attacking itself so that taking immune suppressors is necessary. Not many people are identified as being chimeras. The most prolific cases have involved DNA tests that result in mothers seemingly being unrelated to their children. Once DNA was taken both from external and internal places, the genes connecting the parent and child were found. However, there was also separate DNA.

Contributed by Jessica Kalmazu Stimely

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