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Thread: Bone marrow transplants can implant donor DNA throughout body, including semen

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    Bone marrow transplants can implant donor DNA throughout body, including semen

    This New York Times article reports on a shocking medical phenomenon that impacts law enforcement and potentially much more:
    ---
    Three months after his bone marrow transplant, Chris Long of Reno, Nev., learned that the DNA in his blood had changed. It had all been replaced by the DNA of his donor, a German man he had exchanged just a handful of messages with.
    ...
    But four years after his lifesaving procedure, it was not only Mr. Long’s blood that was affected. Swabs of his lips and cheeks contained his DNA — but also that of his donor. Even more surprising to Mr. Long and other colleagues at the crime lab, all of the DNA in his semen belonged to his donor.
    ...
    In 2004, investigators in Alaska uploaded a DNA profile extracted from semen to a criminal DNA database. It matched a potential suspect. But there was a problem: The man had been in prison at the time of the assault. It turned out that he had received a bone marrow transplant. The donor, his brother, was eventually convicted.
    ...
    It involved police investigators who were skeptical of a sexual assault victim’s account because she said there had been one attacker, though DNA analysis showed two. Eventually the police determined that the second profile had come from her bone marrow donor.
    ---

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    "DNA does not lie"
    This simplistic message can often be found in forums.
    The automatic partner should be something like,
    "but we don't always understand what it is telling us."
    This is a case in point.

    And also, if DNA is planted, it can also be used for deception.

    And of course, part of me says, "Not another chimera story. That must have come from the 'In case of a slow news day' file."
    Strangely enough, the general public who considers taking a DNA test seems to be far more savvy about this than LE.
    Fairly much every other month I see someone on some forum ask if some procedure involving genetic material from another person - blood, tissue, marrow, organs - might change their DNA test result.
    Last edited by Saetro; 12-10-2019 at 07:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lgmayka View Post
    This New York Times article reports on a shocking medical phenomenon that impacts law enforcement and potentially much more:
    ...
    In 2004, investigators in Alaska uploaded a DNA profile extracted from semen to a criminal DNA database. It matched a potential suspect. But there was a problem: The man had been in prison at the time of the assault. It turned out that he had received a bone marrow transplant. The donor, his brother, was eventually convicted.
    ...
    It involved police investigators who were skeptical of a sexual assault victim’s account because she said there had been one attacker, though DNA analysis showed two. Eventually the police determined that the second profile had come from her bone marrow donor.
    ---
    So police, at least, have known about this for up to 15 years.
    So it should already have been built into procedure.
    The revelation is that it apparently had not.

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    It is a shocking revelation, indeed.
    Chimerism is a medical phenomenon that's not harmful to patients.
    There is obviously a clear danger with criminal investigations.
    Where is the forensic law enforcement protocol for these cases?
    As Saetro stated, apparently it hasn't been initiated in the past fifteen years!
    That's unconscionable...
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    If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

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    So if this guy had kids, they'd be his donors kids genetically or what?

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    Is this like a new revelation that DNA gets donated? Does it happen with blood and organ donations?

    Makes me wonder because I had a relative, my grandmother's brother, who got a heart transplant. He got a heart attack and nearly died. What kept him alive was this plastic pump that ran on batteries. He had that for 6 months until they put a heart in him from a donor. It was like a medical marvel. The doctors were surprised he survived the whole ordeal, that most people would not have survived it and he did because he was tough as nails. They operated on him like 15 times during 3 weeks. They couldn't even close his rib cage after a while and he just layed like that with his chest open in a coma. Everyone thought he's not gonna make it after all that, he looked like a dead corpse. Almost all of his organs were kept alive by a bunch of machines. Amazingly he made it through all that somehow. So that's a crazy story in itself.

    But what we all noticed after he finally received the heart transplant, is that his personality significantly changed after that. He started listening to Mexican music out of no apparent reason and even wanted to watch Mexican channels on TV. He was a Bosnian man in his 60's lived his whole life in Bosnia, there was nothing Mexican about him whatsoever, he used to listen to Bosnian music and do Bosnian things. We would joke about it too, he himself used to say I think they gave me a Mexican heart.
    He lived for 10 more years after that and then died from lung cancer. It was pretty incredible that he could live for 10 more years, the shit that guy went through and was almost literally dead for weeks and then lived with a plastic pump instead of a heart for 6 months. And he still managed to be positive and joke about all of it the whole time. One of the toughest guys I've ever known.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oz View Post
    Is this like a new revelation that DNA gets donated? Does it happen with blood and organ donations?
    I'm not certain but I don't think so. The reason this happens with bone marrow transplants is because the bone marrow is where the red blood cells are made. Therefore it can change the DNA in your blood. I didn't know that it could affect other parts of the body though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by de Cotel View Post
    If you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
    There are cases where the ONLY physical evidence is the DNA.
    In this case it would point to the Bone Marrow Donor.
    Do you seriously think that being wrongfully charged with rape/murder/terror offences is nothing to worry about?
    Because people have been in court on only DNA evidence.
    Some of them are in jail right now, despite pleading innocence.

    The point is that police procedures need appropriate adjustment to deal with this.
    Once that is done there might be "nothing to worry about".

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