Medicine: Human Chimeras

To the ancients, a chimera was a fabulous monster with a lion's head, a serpent's tail and often an extra head in the middle of its back. To the botanist, it means a plant combining growths of differing genetic makeup—usually the result of grafting. Now British medical scientists are discovering human chimeras, in which one person has some of the body cells of another, invariably a twin.

First case so reported was that of a Mrs. McK., whose red cells were 60% type O and 40% type A (TIME, July 20, 1953). It seemed clear...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!