The established idea in genetic science that we can learn everything about a person’s genetic information from any single cell is challenged by a series of recent papers by Dr Alexander Urban and others. It is claimed that all of our body-cells may not have same set of genes. It implies we contain genetic multitudes.
The research papers show some people have groups of cells with mutations that are not found in the rest of the body. In 1953, a British woman donated blood which turned out to be partially Type O and partially Type A. This feature, called Chimerism, is claimed to be common for women. Women can gain genomes from their children. After a baby is born, it may leave some fetal cells behind which then travel to different organs and absorbed into tissue.
The findings of the research certainly question how forensic scientists should use DNA evidence to identify people and determine heredity. It also throws a challenge to genetic counselors.