Thursday, 25 October 2012

Weird and wonderful

In my free minutes, between experiments or when I'm grabbing a breather, I like to click around and explore those bits of the news and science that aren't strictly in my discipline. Today I saw a couple of articles (both via Ed Yong, from one route or another),which have stuck with me, which I thought might be worth sharing.

The weird first, without much preamble; a movie of a duck's penis. This doesn't require any explanation, except maybe from god. Mindbleach, please.

Then on to the wonderful, with this blog post (combined with this article), talking about micro-chimerism in mothers.

This deals with a rather beautiful aspect of mammalian biology, where cells from the developing foetus enter the circulation of the mother, and are even detectable after birth.

The latter paper even reports detecting the DNA of these cells over 27 years after the birth of the child (by looking for Y chromosome DNA from a mother who's borne sons).

I've always known there was so much of my mother in me (about half, genetically speaking), but it's profoundly lovely to think that there's probably a bit of me in her.

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