What happens to a donors DNA after a transplant?
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Thread: What happens to a donors DNA after a transplant?

  1. #1
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    What happens to a donors DNA after a transplant?

    Having one of my usual "why is this so" thoughts this morning and was pondering what happens to the DNA from the original donor giving a heart after its transplanted in the body of the receiver.

    I know that every cell in a person's body is replaced after something like 12 years (not sure exactly) but I am wondering if those new cells would be based on the DNA of the original transplanted cells or on the DNA of the new "caretaker" of the heart?

    Also... how might this also apply to something like a bone marrow transplant? Does the transplanted bone marrow produce blood that contains DNA from the original donor and if so, for how long? How might this affect DNA testing in a murder situation for instance?

    Dr Karl... are you out there?

  2. #2
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    It mostly depends on how well your T Cells take to it. Transplant recipients have to undergo massive immunospression in order to get the body to accept the foreign tissue (or Allograft). With your T Cells not attacking it, the new tissue will be supplied with oxygen and nutrients even though it technically won't be part of your organ systems. Your body and the Allograft will just be good neighbors until your body can replace it.

    A large problem though is the replacing of the cells from the Allograft are often very imperfect and slow, and generally just causes the transplanted organ to fail after so much of it has been replaced by your body. Then you're back to square one.

    I don't think it would be an issue in crime cases. I would think that even though the new marrow would produce a genetic code of the original owner, it would be so diluted within the rest of the body's blood that the genetic evidence would be easily distinguished.

    Genetics arn't my strongest point, but I've still got alittle more info if that didn't satisfy.
    \"Greatness only comes at great risk.\" ~ Personal/Generic

  3. #3
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    but I've still got alittle more info if that didn't satisfy.
    More info would be good, well that's if you could.

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