Mother and unborn child share many things, some quite literally. During pregnancy, for example, the mother provides her developing fetus with nutrients and oxygen and removes resulting wastes – all passing through the placenta, a remarkable organ built from both maternal and fetal cells.
Among the things that can migrate across the placenta are cells from the fetus, which may then take up residence elsewhere in the mother, living long after the originating child has been born. It’s a phenomenon called microchimerism, and it belies the notion that all of us are singular individuals. Some of us, it seems, contain bits of others.
(The image above illustrates the idea, depicting a highlighted male cell (containing a Y chromosome) residing in liver tissue from a female.)
In a new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers report finding male cells in the brains of (deceased) women. In some cases, the cells had been living there for decades.
It’s not known what effect the male cells had in the female brains, but it certainly spawns plenty of mind-boggling questions: Did the cells function? If so, does this mean that in some cases, in some way, the actions and thoughts of affected women were not exactly their own, but the result of cells representing not just them, but their children?
Appleton, WI. @ Big Guns Tattoo by Don
“Forever yours, forever mine, forever us.” -Ludwig van Beethoven
Yes my pet. You are mine. I protect you. Even when I’m not nearby. Even when you’re blindfolded. You know my presence is there.
(Source: born--for--this, via h-ell)
Eyes. Those damn eyes fucked me forever. We made love just looking at them. — Charles Bukowski (via blua)
(Source: whispsofinvisibleme, via wednesdaysnecropolis)