Chris Long works at Washoe County Sheriff’s Department as an IT worker in Reno, Nevada. He was a common man like all of us before he had a bone marrow transplant. He was suffering from acute myeloid leukemia because of which he had to undergo a transplant.
Four years after the transplant, it was found that his body and semen consisted of DNA of his donor – a German man instead of his own. His colleague Renee Romero, who worked at the crime lab of Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, told him that they need to swab the heck out of him before he has this procedure to see how this DNA takes over his body. They found that only the hairs on the head and chest were having his DNA. All the other body parts had the DNA of the German donor.
After having his second child, Long underwent a vasectomy. Experts think that this may be the reason for the change in DNA of the semen. Long had become a chimera now, doctors and forensic scientists knew certain medical procedures for a long time that can turn people into chimeras, but where does a donor’s DNA show up other than blood has rarely been studied with criminal applications.
What is Chimerism?
Chimerism is a condition where a person has two sets of DNA, blood cells and immune systems. It can happen after a bone marrow transplant or when a person absorbs their twin who died in the womb.
Chimera origins from a Greek mythological creature that is composed of goat, lion, and snake. In most cases, no symptoms are found so people remain unaware if they have the condition. Some people with chimerism may have different eye colors or patches of different skin tones or sections of hair.