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Iobates had an ulterior motive; his son-in-law wanted Bellerophon killed and the king was sure the Chimera would do the job.

Chimera (mythology)

But Bellerophon called in Pegasus, the winged horse, and brought the Chimera down from above. The beast lived on in people's imaginations, and English speakers adopted her name for any similarly grotesque monster, or, later, for anything fanciful. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chimera. Send us feedback. Lookups for 'chimera' spiked after news that scientists had successfully combined the DNA of two disparate species. See more words from the same century.

More Definitions for chimera. See the full definition for chimera in the English Language Learners Dictionary. Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chimera. Spanish Central: Translation of chimera. Nglish: Translation of chimera for Spanish Speakers. What made you want to look up chimera? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible.


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Some imitative words are more surprising than others. One way that chimeras can happen naturally in humans is that a fetus can absorb its twin. This can occur with fraternal twins, if one embryo dies very early in pregnancy, and some of its cells are "absorbed" by the other twin. The remaining fetus will have two sets of cells, its own original set, plus the one from its twin. These individuals often don't know they are a chimera.

For example, in , news outlets reported the story of a woman named Karen Keegan, who needed a kidney transplant and underwent genetic testing along with her family, to see if a family member could donate one to her. But the tests suggested that genetically, Keegan could not be the mother of her sons.

UCSF Chimera Home Page

During such transplants, which can be used for example to treat leukemia, a person will have their own bone marrow destroyed and replaced with bone marrow from another person. Bone marrow contains stem cells that develop into red blood cells. This means that a person with a bone marrow transplant will have blood cells, for the rest of their life, that are genetically identical to those of the donor, and are not genetically the same as the other cells in their own body.

Could You Be a Chimera?

In some cases, all of the blood cells in a person who received a bone marrow transplant will match the DNA of their donor. More commonly, people may exhibit so-called microchimerism—when a small fraction of their cells are from someone else. And every day, 22 people on that list die without the organ they need. What if, rather than relying on a generous donor, you could grow a custom organ inside an animal instead?

Human/Non-Human Chimeras

Thousands of people die every year for lack of transplantable human organs. In the past, human-animal chimeras have been beyond reach. Such experiments are currently ineligible for public funding in the United States so far, the Salk team has relied on private donors for the chimera project. Public opinion, too, has hampered the creation of organisms that are part human, part animal. But for lead study author Jun Wu of the Salk Institute, we need only look to mythical chimeras—like the human-bird hybrids we know as angels—for a different perspective.

There are two ways to make a chimera. When scientists discovered stem cells, the master cells that can produce any kind of body tissue, they seemed to contain infinite scientific promise. But convincing those cells to grow into the right kinds of tissues and organs is difficult.


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Cells must survive in Petri dishes. Scientists have to use scaffolds to make sure the organs grow into the right shapes. And often, patients must undergo painful and invasive procedures to harvest the tissues needed to kick off the process. However, it took Belmonte and more than 40 collaborators four years to figure out how to make a human-animal chimera.

To do so, the team piggybacked off prior chimera research conducted on mice and rats. Other scientists had already figured out how to grow the pancreatic tissue of a rat inside a mouse.