Livin' on the MDedge

Invasion of the body-snatcher DNA, and pediatric ‘La Niña’s revenge’


Are two DNAs better than one?

DNA Jezperklauzen/ThinkStock

Before you read any further, you need to find the X-Files theme to set the mood, so use this link and get it started.

Okay, is it on? No? That’s fine, we can wait.

Now are you ready? Good, here goes.

What happens after you receive a bone marrow transplant to treat acute myeloid leukemia? Many years of life, hopefully. But what if you survived and then started to turn into someone else? What if the DNA from the bone marrow donor started to replace your DNA?

Now you know why we needed the X-Files music.

Chris Long, who works at the Washoe County (Nev.) Sheriff’s Department, underwent a bone marrow transplant several years ago. Just before the procedure, a friend and colleague in the department, who just happened to run the crime lab, asked him for DNA samples.

Say, isn’t Area 51 in Nevada? Hmm, interesting.

A few months later, the lab determined that all of the DNA in his blood had been replaced by that of the bone marrow donor, the New York Times reported. And over the years, “swabs collected from his lip, cheek and tongue showed that these also contained his donor’s DNA, with the percentages rising and falling.”

Even more surprising? After 4 years, Mr. Long’s colleagues in the crime lab found that all of the DNA in his semen belonged to the donor, the Times said.

Mr. Long, it seems, has become a chimera, a combination of two people.

Guess what? There was an X-Files episode called “Chimera.”

Now, we’re not saying that all this proves aliens were involved, but … well … you know.

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