Skip to comments.Do you carry DNA of former lovers in your body?
Posted on 06/20/2013 5:29:54 PM PDT by Maelstorm
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 mustve come from somewhere else.
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 mothers 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 recipients body, taking residence in any organ. These cells are the imprint of lovers past, a trace of living history.
Might a womans bodily fluids enter a cut in a mans genitals as well? Could men carry around the genes of women theyve 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? Its yet another reason to use a condom.
Seminal fluid is a natural immune suppressant so I suppose it would be possible for cells to survive in a woman's body in rare cases from sexual intercourse. I doubt the reverse is likely at least with heterosexual men.
If this is true I wouldn't be surprised to find that women who are more promiscuous are more likely to have autoimmune issues and non HPV related cancer.
Wouldn't that be special though? That maybe religious thou shalt nots weren't all fuddy duddy in the sky stuff.
Pregnancy in and of itself requires an autoimmune suppression so that her body won’t reject the embryo. It would make sense if a few rogue sperm or tissue cells made it through, too, via the entry way conception creates.
Fascinating sentence construction.
I’m thinking viruses.
But is that suppression the result of pregnancy, or the result of the presence of semen/sperm?
Maybe the never-pregnant women were using BC pills, which prevent pregnancy but not the immuno-suppressive action of the semen?
You'd have to test a virgin group to find that out.
Folklore has it that while glad-handing a crowd, Teddy Kennedy would say to a pretty young girl, “Saaaay... you look familiar! Do you have a little Kennedy in you?”
When the surprised woman would stammer “why, no...” Teddy would grin, lean over and whisper in her ear: “Would you like some?”
” Could men carry around the genes of women theyve slept with?”
lordie, I hope not.
I think the most likely reason women in the fourth group would have male cells would be through miscarriages. Most zygotes do not implant. Of those that do, about 30% miscarry before the woman even knows she is pregnant.
It is interesting that 80% of the women who had abortions had male cells in their bodies. Since only 50% of pregnancies are of males, that suggests they had more than one abortion. I wonder how many women would keep using abortion for birth control if they knew that their victims leave behind permanent evidence of their existence.
OMG! I could be carrying around Sharon Stone's cells?
I’ve got something to say its on the tip of my tongue...
I found that interesting too but not entirely surprising.
Viruses aren’t big enough to transport entire chromosomes.
Problem with this ‘theory’ is that very few human cells have a long life outside an organized structure like the brain or the kidney.
free floating cells, perhaps ‘stem’ cells from the placenta (?) might make it across the barrier and into the mom, but, how they would persist is hard to explain.
sex is not love. Sex partners are not lovers
It has been known for decades now that HIV can be passed from a female to a male via the pubic hair follicles. It is one of those facts that is so scary that the CDC won’t tell you. American service men in Germany got HIV from one or more female prostitutes infected with the virus, and those guys used condoms and did not perform oral sex.
Decades after birthing a child, the mother can still have cells from that baby residing in her uterine tissues. There may be stem cells in seminal fluid. There are certainly stem cells in the uterus.
Male cells can be found during autopsy in the brains of women who are 60, 70, or older.
The cells have everything they need to survive in the mother’s body. I think that the cells that cross the placenta are not programmed to develop further, but simply to integrate themselves into the host (mother) and survive.
I hypothesize that this may be one reason the immune system does not recognize the baby as a foreign invader and kill it—because the baby’s cells become part of the mother’s body, therefore causing them to be recognized as “self” by the immune system. A related function may be that the presence of the children’s cells strengthens the maternal instinct.
I can tell my sons that they will always be a part of me...
Eeeeewwwwww... I hope not. There are just so many funny but less than polite remarks one could make here.