In Greek mythology, a chimera is a fire-breathing creature physically exhibiting traits of a lion, goat, and dragon. Broadly, chimera is referred to as entities having cells from two different species. A major milestone in chimera experimentation occurred in 1984 when a chimeric geep was produced by compounding embryos from a goat and a sheep which survived to adulthood. Chimeric mice too are significant pawns in biological experimentation as they allow the examination of diverse biological questions in an animal that contains two distinct genetic makeup within it.

It could be sensational to hear, but in humans too, chimeras exist. People that have two different set of DNA are called human chimeras. A human chimera can happen in many ways; it can happen when a woman conceive twins and one embryo die very early and the other embryo absorbs its twin’s cells resulting in two sets of DNA. It can also happen after a bone marrow transplant, where the donor’s bone marrow may keep on making blood cells that have the donor’s DNA turning the recipient into a chimera. And in some pregnancy cases also some women exhibit microchimerism when a small number of blood cells from foetus migrates into her blood travelling to different parts of her body.

Chimersim phenomenon in humans might be far more common than we realise. It could be that your next door neighbour, your friend, or even you turn out to be a chimera, if tested properly for it.

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