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Cell with double DNA

  1. Feb 15, 2006 #1
    Has anyone experimented with this? Take 2 stem cells. Take the DNA portion out of the one cell and place it inside the second cell. using the same method that the cloning stuff does it.

    Or would this method basically just cause mitosis to seperate the cells anyway. or would it just kill the cell?

    has anyone tried to make a quad-helix?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2006 #2


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    There have been human cellular experiments that yielded viable tetrapoid (4N) cells. reference
    In that ref of Science, the researchers had fused somatic fibroblast cells with embyonic stem cells to form tetraploid hybrid cells. These cells did grow and remain viable. I don't know of any experiments where they tried to fuse two stem cells. I suspect it would work though.
  4. Feb 24, 2006 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    DNA is packaged in little blobs called chromosomes.

    An organism that has two sets of each chromosome (the norm for most animals) is diploid, written 2N. Triploid is 3N, tetraploid 4N.

    There are plant species, like switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), that are found with varying numbers of "ploids" 4N, 6N, etc. Whether P. virgatum is really one species or just a completely undiscernable mass of separate species is not clear. A lot of fern species are VERY polyploid - "poly" means many.

    What you are describing would create a 4N human. This kind of thing has been done with other animal species, but they normally live only for a short time, then develop problems and die. I'm guessing that a human tetraploid embryo would only last for a few days.
  5. Feb 24, 2006 #4


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    Thanks Jim for adding some background information about genetic nomenclature.

    I notice the reference I gave for Science is no longer working..
    Here is an excerpt of another reference that cites the same paper.

    They were not trying to create a tetraploid human, just to see if the embryonic stem cell genome would influence a specialized cell when hybridized resulting in a 4N nucleus, and induce it to mature into a different specialized cell. They accomplished that result and cells remained viable.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006
  6. Mar 2, 2006 #5
    Polyploidy is actually very common in the plant kingdom. According to my genetics teacher, there are more polyploid plants than diploid ones. Plants with even ploidy numbers (4N, 6N, 8N etc.) are usually perfectly healthy and are often more vigorous and have larger fruits and flowers. Because of this, many plants grown as crops are polyploid, such as wheat (6N), potato (4N), and strawberry (8N). It's also a common way for new species to arise, because a plant with doubled chromosome number instantly becomes (almost) genetically isolated from its diploid ancestors.
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