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Your Baby's Leftover DNA Is Making You Stronger

Stashed in: Interconnectedness!, Science!, Carl Sagan, Why not both?, SciFi!, @jimmyfallon, Alzheimer's, Cancer, let's blow our minds, DNA

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So much for empty nesting.

In research published earlier this year, epidemiologists analyzed the data from a previous longitudinal study of 272 elderly Danish women. Out of that group, 70 percent had Y sex chromosomes in their blood, a sign of the presence of male cells.

Although cardiovascular disease was slightly elevated among women with male microchimerism, their overall mortality rate was a whopping 60 percent lower, primarily because of a lower incidence of cancer. Eight-five percent of these women made it to age 80, compared to 67 percent of women without the presence of these cells.

Scientists don’t know for certain what biological mechanisms cause these findings, but past research suggests microchimerism may boost immune surveillance—that is, the body’s ability to recognize and destroy pathogens and cells that might become cancerous—and also play a role in the repair of damaged tissue, helping form new blood vessels to heal wounds. Microchimerism is also associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.

These fetal cells migrate all over a mother’s body, becoming part of the heart, the brain, and blood—and fascinating scientist and artists alike.

Remind me what "microchimerism" is. Sounds very useful.


Microchimerism is the harboring of small numbers of cells that originated in a genetically different individual.

During pregnancy some cells traffic from the mother to the fetus and from the fetus to the mother.

Surprisingly, a small number of the mother’s cells persist in her offspring, including into adult life.

And a small number of cells from prior pregnancies persist in mothers many years later.

It has only recently become apparent that naturally-acquired microchimerism is common in humans. A number of medical research teams are currently investigating both good and bad consequences of microchimerism in human health and disease.

So is it science? Or wishful thinking?

Can't it be both?

porque no los dos gif meme Imgur Tumblr giphy

Science or Wishful Thinking would be a good name for a rock band.

That's a great name for a rock band!  How about DNA Leftovers?   Too explicit?

Yeah, I don't think anyone would pay to see the DNA Leftovers.


A 2004 study found the presence of male genes in 21 percent of women overall—even among those who had only given birth to daughters, had a miscarriage, underwent an abortion, or had never been pregnant. Researchers speculate the unknown DNA could have come from a miscarriage these women never recognized, or from an older brother who transferred cells to their mother, who in turn passed the genes onto subsequent children. Or—here’s where the science starts to feel like sci-fi—women could have picked it up through sexual intercourse, traces of past lovers never lost.

That does start to feel sci fi. Really?!?

Right?  Not only are we made up of stardust (Sagan) and each other (Chopra), but now THIS.  

All things really ARE interconnected.

that just blew my mind!!!

Really? Tell me more.

i'll let audra mcdonald elaborate at 2:59...


hahaha!  i'm glad you liked that.

I did. I like the suggestion box when there's singing.

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