The maternal bond between mother and child is like no other. Incredibly, research is now suggesting that part of a mother’s off spring stays with her forever as foetal cells will enter the mother’s body and find themselves a home in the mother’s tissue.
Over many millions of years, the mechanics at play between baby and mother have allowed for optimal development for her baby to grow. What is most intruiging is that some of the foetal cells will enter the mother’s body and due to their malleable nature, are able to develop into tissue by receiving information from surrounding cells in their ultimate landing spot.
Researchers are referring to this as ‘microchimerism’ after the creature called ‘Chimera’ in Greek mythology which is depicted as having a lion’s head, a goat’s body and a snake tail.
Researchers are now attempting to put this phenomenon into an evolutionary perspective and to work out why this transferal of cells from foetus to mother has come to be. Although our understanding is in its primitive stages, there is speculation that these cells may influence the mother’s ability to get pregnant again.
There are, however, theories that these cells that enter the mother’s body behave like cancer cells and put the mother at greater risk of certain cancers.
Biologists and Medics could use this fascinating topic of microchimerism to make a super memorable personal statement!