Where is your DNA, and can it be changed by receiving donated blood or organs?


Where is your DNA, and can it be changed by receiving donated blood or organs?

In: Biology

It’s in every single cell in your body. It can not be changed, as every cell would have to be changed.

Donated organs and blood have a different DNA but are accepted in your body. They can’t change what “your DNA” is though.

DNA can be altered in single cells through chemicals or radiation. This means we can modify the DNA of a single cell that turns into a whole human (a fertilized egg).

If you change the DNA of a cell in a living human you have a chance to end up with a cancer cell.

Every single cell in your body with the exception of red blood cells and platelets has an entire copy of your genome in its nucleus. That’s what DNA is. It’s not one thing in a single location. It’s trillions of copies of the same thing in nearly every cell in your body. If you receive a donor organ, that organ will have the DNA of the donor, but it doesn’t change any DNA in the rest of your cells. Likewise, blood cells, with the exception of white blood cells, don’t have DNA, and white blood cells don’t reproduce, so no, a blood transfusion does not give you new DNA. Blood is produced in the bone marrow, so if you receive a bone marrow transplant, the white blood cells you produce from then on will have the DNA of the donor, but again, that doesn’t change the DNA of other cells in your body,

DNA is contained in almost every cell in your body (there are some cells, like red blood cells, that lack DNA). Each of these cells has its own copies.

When you receive a donor organ, you receive an organ whose cells contain someone else’s DNA. It doesn’t change the DNA in your own cells.

Think of DNA as personalised instructions telling each cell what to do. Your own cells’ instructions are written in your own way – your own handwriting, your own choice of words. If you receive a donor organ, those cells have essentially the same instructions but in a different form – different handwriting, different writing style, etc. No instructions are *changed*; you simply now have two different versions present in your body.

Your DNA is in (almost) ever single cell of your body.

If you get a transplant of something made of cells you also get the DNA in those cells.

Red blood cells, which make up much of your blood, are actually special cells that have removed most of the stuff that is in normal cells to make room for oxygen carrying haemoglobin, they have no nucleus which is where cells keep most of their DNA.

There are however other types of cells in your blood that carry the full amount of DNA.

If you receive an organ transplant, the cells in it will keep reproducing with their own foreign DNA. In case of Bone marrow which produces blood cells you even end up getting cells with foreign DNA outside the transplanted organ.

After a transplant you essentially become a chimera with cells with two different DNA blueprints in the same body.