Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chimeras, Polygamy and the IRS

Chimera is the name of a mythological beast that is made up of whole parts from a lion, snake and a goat. Scientist use this same name for a complete organism that is made of whole parts that have different DNA; an organism with 2 sets of DNA.

Chimeras are created naturally and in laboratories.

In laboratories scientist have combined for example a goat and a sheep to make a Chimera. This is not a hybrid. There is a difference. One way that a Chimera is made is by fusing two embryos together. A Hybrid is typically created by using a sperm from one species and an egg from another.

With A Hybrid, the offspring has characteristics of both species but usually blended very well together. A Hybrid has one set of DNA.

A Chimera is not very well blended at all. A Chimera contains whole parts or patchy spots of the two DNA sets scattered across its body. A Chimera has 2 distinct sets of DNA.

So far a Chimera sounds kind of Frankensteinish.

In nature, a chimera occurs when 2 embryos inside a mother fuse together for some reason. This is apparently rare but does happen. The result is an individual who has 2 sets of DNA from his parents. This person is his own twin. (It would be interesting to know the percentage of humans who are born as Chimeras.)

A sign that someone might be a Chimera would be patchy skin or asymmetrical sides of the body like one eye a different color than the other.

Reading about this got me wondering: What if my wife or what if one of my kids is a Chimera? I don't think that my wife is, but if she were one, then I would be a polygamist.

I think that my son might be one though. Why do I suspect my son of being a Chimera? Well, he doesn't have scales or anything and he doesn't have hooves. However, one of his eyebrows looks like mine and the other one looks like that of my wife's.

If I do find out that he has 2 sets of DNA:

1. Do I have to obtain another social security number for him?
2. Can I claim another dependent on my income taxes and use another child tax credit?
3. Should I give him another set of names?

Here are 2 articles on the subject of Chimeras:
Short Medical Article on Chimeras (Fraternal Twins sharing blood, etc...)
Long article with a lot of detailed information on Chimeras


General Ledger said...

4. Take him to the circus and have him displayed. Then demand double payment (for each of them) and set up 2 Roth IRA accounts.

Chupacabra said...

5. All of the Above.

UFLouie said...

6. Two 529's as well. said...

Let him decide for himself. Opps, I mean let them decide for themselves. If they do not agree, you are the tiebreaker.