A Mother Carries Her Child for Decades – Not Just Nine Months

A Mother Carries Her Child for Decades – Not Just Nine Months

We all know that a mother carries her unborn child for nine months until the baby is born. However, most people don’t realize that a mother carries her child for decades. That is true even of a woman who chooses to abort her child.

The term “chimera” (pronounced ky-mer-uh) refers to an animal made up of parts of different animals. It goes back to ancient mythology, which told of a creature made of parts from various animals, such as a goat, a lion, and a snake. The Bible even speaks about a vision of multiple animal combinations in the book of Revelation. However, in human mothers, scientists see microchimerism in which fetal cells and DNA are left behind in the mother’s body.

The unborn baby, commonly called a fetus, is not part of the mother’s body and has his or her own DNA. The baby is like a foreign object inside the mother. That’s the reason for “morning sickness,” as the mother’s immune system tries to reject it. The often repeated slogan “my body, my choice” does not consider that the baby is not part of the woman’s body and has no choice in the matter.

The placenta is the link between mother and baby. The unborn baby gets nourishment through the placenta as it connects to the mother’s arteries. However, the baby can also shed some cells and DNA, which enter the mother’s bloodstream as early as two weeks after conception. Those fetal cells can find a home in various organs of the mother, including her heart and brain. Since those cells are from a different person, the result is microchimerism. The woman has part of another person remaining inside of her body.

Scientists have found that a mother carries her child for decades as the baby’s cells remain in her. If she has more than one child, she can retain cells from each of them in her body. Just as science has found that stem cells can be helpful in medical treatments because of their ability to form into different kinds of cells, the potent cells from the baby can become pancreas, heart, liver, or brain cells in the mother. Or they can become skin cells. Scientists have found cells from the baby in the scar tissue after a caesarian birth, indicating that the baby’s cells are helping the mother to heal.

Not only do fetal cells continue in the mother after normal births, but also they are left behind when there is a miscarriage or medical abortion. Surprisingly, studies indicate that more cells are left in the mother after an induced abortion than in a natural miscarriage. Furthermore, this transfer of cells works both ways. To a lesser extent, cells from the mother can get into the unborn baby. Since cells from previous siblings are still in the mother, even those can be passed on to the fetus. In other words, a second or third child may have cells from his or her older siblings.

What does this mean? It tells us that a mother carries her child for decades. As mothers carry with them a part of their children, there is good reason for the bonding between mother and child. Even when a woman decides to end her baby’s life before birth, she still carries some of that child with her. Being a mother is a precious blessing, and abortion is not something to be taken lightly.

— Roland Earnst © 2022

References: National Institutes of Health, “Health Shots” on National Public Radio, and Ariel Precision Medicine

Human-Macaque Chimera Created

Human-Macaque Chimera and Ancient Greek Mythology

A chimera is a living organism made up of parts from different organisms. You have heard myths about a half-woman, half-fish mermaid, and a human torso and head on a horse’s body and legs. Those would be chimeras if they actually existed. Now scientists have created a human-macaque chimera.

Scientists at the Salk Institute in California injected human stem cells into macaque embryos. They allowed the embryos to grow for only 20 days before destroying them. The stated purpose for creating a human-macaque chimera is to find a way to grow human organs for transplant and to develop new drugs.

This reminds us of a science fiction story of chimeras turning into monsters that threaten human beings. The term “chimera” (kye-MER-uh) comes from an animal in Greek mythology with a lion’s head and body, a goat’s head protruding from its back, and a tail with the head of a snake. Imagine what a human-macaque chimera might be like.

This experiment raises bioethical questions. Just because researchers can do this, should they do it, and what kind of research should they carry on? Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist involved in this research, says that chimeras have “the potential to radically humanize the biology of laboratory animals.”

The morals and beliefs of the scientists doing the research become a significant issue in situations like this. We need people with Christian values involved in making these decisions to ensure that everything is done to relieve human pain and suffering, not to create half-human creatures. God has provided the blueprint in DNA, but it is up to humans to decide how to use it. Whether it is for good or evil is an old biblical question.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Phys.org/news

Animal/Human Chimeras Created


Human stem cells have been injected into pig and cattle embryos resulting in a human-pig or human-cow hybrid called a chimera. The name “chimera” comes from a fire-breathing monster in Greek mythology that had the head of a lion with a goat’s head coming out of its body and a tail with a snake’s head. The claimed purpose of producing a chimera of a human with some other animal is to find a way to grow organs for transplants. This kind of research is banned in some countries, and federal money is not allowed for this research in the United States. Animal rights people are already complaining about this research. Bioethicist Francoise Baylis says that chimera work is unethical “because it is based on the faulty assumption that human life is more valuable than that of nonhuman beings.” One researcher raised the possibility of pigs being given human brains. For Christians the question would be the definition of what it means to be human. The biblical definition of a human is a being created in the image of God. That definition avoids the kind of questions that animal rights ethicists are asking. The bigger question involves what happens when the research goes astray or creates environmental chaos.
–John N. Clayton © 2017
Data from Science News, February 18, 2017, pages 6-7.