Medical question.

Do transplanted organs or limbs retain the DNA of the original owner? Do they do so permantly, or is the DNA replaced by that of the host over time? Does the bone and marrow retain original DNA forever? If the marrow remains original, do the cells it produces have differing DNA from the new host?

If anyone has the answer and can be both scientifically precise and use simple language as well that would be great. This has to do with a novel idea (literary term, not novel as in creative or unique, but I do hope it is), so I need to understand this but also have the language to make it easily understood.

thanks in advance.

Yes, the cells in transplanted body parts retain the DNA of the donor permanently. Transplanted marrow, IIRC starts out as purely donor cells, but over time, the host begins producing its own marrow cells again, and eventually (assuming a healty host), the marrow once again will be solely host tissue.

If I read you correctly, for a period of time before the old marrow is fully replaced, the body will produce blood that could be identified as two people? And tissue from two people as well.

What kind of time frame do you have for marrow? Is it specific to an area or just to volume of marrow?

That, I’ll have to leave for others with more specific knowledge. But yes, I believe that at least for a time, there will exist blood cells with two distinct DNA signatures. The blood types much match, of course.

We run a test in our lab for just this purpose. After a bone marrow transplant, the doctor will have bone marrow samples from the patient submitted to our lab periodically. They’re sequenced for a specific gene that differs between the donor and the recipient. In this way, we can tell what percentage of the bone marrow comes from the donor, and what percentage comes from the recipient, which helps the doctor track how well the transplant is “taking”.

Is this protected information, like covered under an employee confidentiality agreement? If not is there any way you could refer me to or send me the details? I don’t know if it will be important, but this will be my first attempt at a true novel and I think I could use as much information as is available.

even if I don’t work the details in to the story. I think this information is fascinating. Since DNA is the stuff of life and in some degree what defines us as individuals, the philosophical implications of your body being made up of more than just your own life stuff is really a head scratcher. Even from a humanist perspective it’s boggling.

Short story premise: What if the Egyptians of the time of Pharoa were right and there are a bunch of people waiting on those that recieved donor parts to kick off so they can claim their organs back? Hell, working to cause the demise of others. OTOH what if they get to enjoy some sense of life from a donor walking around with their heart or an eye. Whatever. Must. Not. Get. Sidetracked. Save. Other. Concept. For. Later.

Oh, a side question. Would any region specific tissue retain minor nerve damage or neural pecularities? A twitch of the thumb when the back of the hand is touched in a certain place? On a hand transplanted as a whole, that is. Woud colorblind eyes or, hue blind as I happen to be, mis-match. Left eye normal color sight, right eye colorblind. Or would they find a happy medium and adjust to see color in tandem?