Ova Gone Wild!

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According to Nature, we're experiencing a decline of family values at the gamete level:

Researchers have discovered a pair of twins who are identical through their mother's side, but share only half their genes on their father's side.

The 'semi-identical' twins are the result of two sperm cells fusing with a single egg — a previously unreported way for twins to come about, say the team that made the finding. The twins are chimaeras, meaning that their cells are not genetically uniform. Each sperm has contributed genes to each child.

Could our "hook-up culture" have led anywhere else? Blame gay marriage! 

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  1. Please tell me the lucky sperm come from the same, erm, donor?

  2. Where do I sign up to be a chimaera?

  3. Ancient Greece.

  4. RC, What’s it to you? Is the mother your daughter or sumpin’?

  5. I heard a joke about a man whose wife gave birth to triplets: he grabbed a gun and went looking for the other two guys. Never thought the joke would come true…

  6. That’s not even funny, many African tribes believe that having twins is evidence of infidelity. Makes it doubly bad because their diet is rich in sweet potatoes (or yams, can’t remember which) and that makes you a lot more likely to have more twins.

  7. Well, actually, it is pretty funny.

  8. Speaking of reproduction. The womanfriend will hopefully be home in an hour.

  9. Eww. TMI.

  10. This is interesting but not surprising. They’ve long wondered why some “fraternal” twins are so completely similar; much more so than regular siblings. This seems like a perfect explanation.

  11. Interesting.

    It is possible that a single sperm cell carried the father’s complete genome. [I am assuming that the use of ‘father’ in the singular excludes the possibility mentioned by R C Dean.]

    Otherwise, it implies that the egg cell underwent mieosis prior to the sperm cell(s) fusing with the nucleus of the egg cell.

  12. Where do I sign up to be a chimaera?

    The aera of big chim is over.

  13. These “semi-fraternal twins” occur when one egg is fertilized simultaneously by two sperm, and then splits (like with identical twins) to form two zygotes.

    No need to assume two different fathers any more than in the case of fraternal twins.

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