[personal profile] 7rin
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633676/ @ Cell Adhesion & Migration [journal]

2007 Jan-Mar; 1(1): 19–27.
by Gavin S Dawe, Xiao Wei Tan, and Zhi-Cheng Xiao

Abstract
Fetal cells migrate into the mother during pregnancy. Fetomaternal transfer probably occurs in all pregnancies and in humans the fetal cells can persist for decades. Microchimeric fetal cells are found in various maternal tissues and organs including blood, bone marrow, skin and liver. In mice, fetal cells have also been found in the brain. The fetal cells also appear to target sites of injury. Fetomaternal microchimerism may have important implications for the immune status of women, influencing autoimmunity and tolerance to transplants. Further understanding of the ability of fetal cells to cross both the placental and blood-brain barriers, to migrate into diverse tissues, and to differentiate into multiple cell types may also advance strategies for intravenous transplantation of stem cells for cytotherapeutic repair. Here we discuss hypotheses for how fetal cells cross the placental and blood-brain barriers and the persistence and distribution of fetal cells in the mother.

Key Words: fetomaternal microchimerism, stem cells, progenitor cells, placental barrier, blood-brain barrier, adhesion, migration



See also: http://lauragraceweldon.com/2012/06/12/mother-child-are-linked-at-the-cellular-level/ which is the blog I finally tracked the link to the research down on while I was drifting around Google looking for the right search terms.
[personal profile] 7rin
By GINA KOLATA
Published: September 5, 2012

Among the many mysteries of human biology is why complex diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders are so difficult to predict and, often, to treat. An equally perplexing puzzle is why one individual gets a disease like cancer or depression, while an identical twin remains perfectly healthy.

Now scientists have discovered a vital clue to unraveling these riddles. The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as “junk” but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches.

The findings, which are the fruit of an immense federal project involving 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the world, will have immediate applications for understanding how alterations in the non-gene parts of DNA contribute to human diseases, which may in turn lead to new drugs. They can also help explain how the environment can affect disease risk. In the case of identical twins, small changes in environmental exposure can slightly alter gene switches, with the result that one twin gets a disease and the other does not.

Read more... )

A version of this article appeared in print on September 6, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Study Discovers Road Map of DNA; A Key to Biology.
[personal profile] 7rin
By JUDITH SHULEVITZ
Published: September 8, 2012

MOTHERHOOD begins as a tempestuously physical experience but quickly becomes a political one. Once a woman’s pregnancy goes public, the storm moves outside. Don’t pile on the pounds! Your child will be obese. Don’t eat too little, or your baby will be born too small. For heaven’s sake, don’t drink alcohol. Oh, please: you can sip some wine now and again. And no matter how many contradictory things the experts say, don’t panic. Stress hormones wreak havoc on a baby’s budding nervous system.

All this advice rains down on expectant mothers for the obvious reason that mothers carry babies and create the environments in which they grow. What if it turned out, though, that expectant fathers molded babies, too, and not just by way of genes?

Biology is making it clearer by the day that a man’s health and well-being have a measurable impact on his future children’s health and happiness. This is not because a strong, resilient man has a greater likelihood of being a fabulous dad — or not only for that reason — or because he’s probably got good genes. Whether a man’s genes are good or bad (and whatever “good” and “bad” mean in this context), his children’s bodies and minds will reflect lifestyle choices he has made over the years, even if he made those choices long before he ever imagined himself strapping on a Baby Bjorn.

Read more... )

Judith Shulevitz is the science editor for The New Republic.

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