Who’s DNA is in your brain?

I don’t know why this isn’t getting more press than it is, because I find it absolutely fascinating. Based on recent results from a study in September (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington), the DNA of a woman’s fetus can end up in her brain.

Sept. 26, 2012, in the journal PLoS ONE.

And once incorporated, seems to linger there forever (suggested from the cadaver of a 94 year old woman). The study showed that women’s brain tissue  contained the presence of male DNA, which, it is theorized, could only be there from carrying a male fetus during pregnancy (looking for male DNA in a female brain is much easier than looking for foreign female DNA in a female brain). Resulting in a situation called microchimerism, the presence of this DNA did not require the women to have carried the fetus to full term. Any pregnancy seemed to do. As if women didn’t need another reason to carefully choose their mates, this research suggests the effects a chance encounter could be far reaching, as a pregnancy changes the brain composition of the woman for the rest of their life.

Further research will look into microchimerism between siblings from cellular interchange in the uterus over time.

Now no one knows what the effects of these foreign cells living in the brain are, but past research has suggested that women who have more children are more susceptible to neurological disease like Alzheimers.

How does this make you feel about your brain?

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. — Albert Schweitzer