First, please listen to this NPR story (about 8 minutes) about one woman’s defense that her children were indeed her own even though initial DNA testing showed that she was not their biological mother.
Here is an article on a second, similar case. Note that I usually do not support use of Wikipedia for science knowledge as anyone can alter this information in any way that they wish to; however, for these types of stories that are just science-related interesting facts, this is okay.
Here is the link to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Fairchild
After you listen to the above story, please make a post to this discussion board answering one or more of the following questions:
1. Where in a eukaryotic cell is DNA found? (hint: two locations, NOT one). Do these two types of DNA differ in the way that they are passed down â€“ maternal inheritance, paternal inheritance, both; why?
2. Are both of these types of DNA specific or unique to an individual?
3. What is chimerism? Can humans be chimeric, how and why in terms of biology â€“ how does this occur naturally (here I am looking for a general naturally occurring phenomena to explain this; hint: the NPR audio answers this. Here, I am NOT looking for explanations of how animal chimeras are created in labs)?
4. How do you think chimerism affects crime investigation? Can a chimeric suspect be erroneously released based on DNA testing, even though he/she actually committed the crime, why?
5. Do you think that standard DNA testing, either as part of a criminal investigation or a parental custody case, should include testing for chimerism? Why, or why not?