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A person who is a 'genetic mosaic' has cells from two or more different genetic constitutions. This usually is found as a variation in the number of chromosomes in the body's cells. Normally, all body cells would have the same number of chromosomes (46). But in mosaicism, some cells may have 47 chromosomes (such as extra chromosome 21 or X chromosome in some, but not all cells).
Originally posted by zsandmann
Now I will expose my inner geekiness as well. Recently there was an episode of CSI that delt with this issue which got me interested in the subject.
Originally posted by Gazrok
They've found that true hermaphrodites are caused when the two embryos are different sexes. That could lead to sterility, but not so in my case, as I know I am not.
A small number of people have two different ABO blood types. They are not simply AB codominant. Apparently, most of these blood chimera individuals shared a blood supply with their non-identical twin before birth. In some cases, people are unaware that they had a twin because he or she died early in gestation and was spontaneously aborted. As many as 8% of non-identical twins may have chimeric blood. Some people are microchimeric--they have a small amount of blood of a different type in their system that has persisted from a blood transfusion or passed across the placental barrier from their mother before birth. Likewise, fetal blood can pass into a mother's system. This fact has led some researchers to suggest that the significantly higher frequency of autoimmune disorders in women is a result of the presence of foreign white blood cells that had come from their unborn children during pregnancy.