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Showcasing a Genetic Disorder!

Jenny Ma

on 11 January 2013

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Chimera ( Vanishing Twin Syndrome ) Showcasing a Genetic Disorder: SB13U1-11 Jenny Ma Brief Definition of Chimera: The term originates from the mythological creature, Chimera; a creature made up of many different parts of other animals to form one, (brighthub.com) In medical terms, a Chimera is an individual who is comprised of two or more types of genetically distinct cells, hence causing them to have more then one genetic identity. The Categories of Chimera: Made up of 2 major categories: Artificial
Natural Artificial Chimerism: An individual who is composed of multiple genetic types in which cells have been deliberately added by an external or internal source. The general type of Artificial Chimerism: Microchimerism,
Is the term used to describe the small amounts of the body that is composed of different genetic materials found within an individual, that originated from a genetically different individual. Types of
Microchimerism: Maternal Chimerism:
While a mother is pregnant a small amount of her cells pass through the placenta barrier and turn into cells that her child may need, (themedicalbag.com)
Through this process a small number of the mother's cells may still exist throughout their child's life. Fetel Chimerism:
While the baby is growing inside their mother's womb, they may pass their cells to their mother.
By doing so it allows their mother's body to accept the child's external DNA, preventing their body's immune system from rejecting the baby. Other common examples in which small amounts of genetic material are deliberately added,
Blood transfusions
Organ transplants Natural Chimerism: The main type of Natural Chimerism found in humans is Tetragametic Chimera. Tetragametic Chimera:
Usually caused due to chromosome, 46XX/46XX, 46XX/46XY or 46XY/46XY (themedicalbag.com)
This is the process in which there are 4 gametes; 2 different sperm that fertilize 2 different ova, causing fraternal/dizygotic twins, who are made up of two separate sets of DNA.
Instead of growing separately during the 1st trimester the 2 zygotes fuse into one fetus, and hence half the cells in the body have one set of DNA and the other has another set, forming a Chimera individual. *There are rare cases in which a Chimera may be composed of more then just 2 sets of DNA, but multiple, due to the large number of zygotes formed and eventually becoming fused, (thetartan.org) Other possible causes of Natural Chimera,
Twin absorption
Differentiation Frequency of Chimera: Artifical Chimeras,
There are a greater number of artificial chimeras due to the many possible formations, that happen quite regularly and easily.
Artificial chimeras are also created experimentally as a valuable research tool, (vivo.colostate.edu). Natural Chimeras,
Natural Chimeras, are extremely rare, with 30 confirmed cases from around the world, (voices.yahoo.com).
Most common in zygotes that were artificially formed, for example through in vitro insemination, (scg.ubc.ca) It's believed that Chimeras are present in up to 0.5% of the population, which is equal to about 1 in about 200 births, (scq.ubc.ca) It is hard to determine an actual frequency due to the very few symptoms, and due to the fact that the process of determining a chimera extensive and complicated, with large amounts of DNA testing and examination of multiple organs. Symptoms of Chimera: Chimera is unlikey to show many visible symptoms, however due to the different types of genetic cells in parts of the body, there may be some phenotypes shown, but they do not act as confirmed indicators for the disorder.
A major symptom for Chimera, are different sets of DNA being found from parts of the body. Examples of possible physical symptoms (forteantimes.com)
Different coloured eyes.
Blaschko lines,
Which are believed to be caused due to different cells coding for darker or lighter skin then the rest of the body.
They are usually rarely visible but are more noticeable under uv light. Patches of different coloured hair. Prognosis for Chimera: Many people who are diagnosed with Chimera live normal lives, many people who have the disorder do not even notice until there are put in a situation in which they're accidentally diagnosed. The only possible major health impact of Chimera, are possible reproductive problems, in which an individual has both reproductive organs of both sex but this is quite rare. There is no treatment for Chimera, due to the complexity of the way in which there are separate sets of DNA being found in an individual. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! Work Cited: Hambling, D. (2009, Novemeber). Chimeras and mosaics. Retrieved from http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/science/2368/chimeras_and_mosaics.html
Mosaicism and chimerism. (1998, August 5). Retrieved from http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/genetics/medgen/chromo/mosaics.html
Richford, N. (2007, August 17). Chimeras: Two people in one body, not just science fiction anymore. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/chimeras-two-people-one-body-not-just-science-fiction-493338.html
Vaidya, A. (2008, Septemeber 15). Health talk: Human chimeras. Retrieved from http://thetartan.org/2008/9/15/scitech/healthtalk
Arnold , P. (2011, 08 09). Introduction to human chimeras. Retrieved from http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/39124.aspx
Lam, V. (n.d.). The truth about chimeras. Retrieved from http://www.scq.ubc.ca/the-truth-about-chimeras/
Chimera . (2012, July 02). Retrieved from http://www.themedicalbag.com/raredisease/chimera
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