Temporary power provider Aggreko plc had originally planned to hold their November Senior Leadership Team meeting in a deconsecrated church in Edinburgh, with over 50 global managers in attendance. As with previous SLT meetings, the Chimera team were charged with creating a versatile environment for the three day meeting which included a plenary and discussion space, catering and networking areas and flexible workshop zones. As always, this meeting would be two-way process with the emphasis on discussion, group interaction and feedback. When by mid-September it became clear that the COVID pandemic would not allow the meeting to continue as a physical event, the Aggreko team asked Chimera to provide a virtual alternative which would, as far as possible, recreate the live event experience. Within this tight six week timeframe, and working closely with their online development partners, Chimera created a completely bespoke, branded, online meeting platform.
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Doctors are finding more and more instances of human chimeras — a condition that might affect far more people than we realise. Human chimerism hit the headlines this week after it was revealed that a man had failed a paternity test because he had the condition — which meant that the genetic father of his child was his unborn twin. That can lead to strange results in the DNA of people that have the condition — but it can often go completely unnoticed. The condition is relatively common in some animals — but it may happen more often than we realise in humans, and go unnoticed. And it may become yet more common, as more people use fertility treatments to conceive their children. In previous cases, people have been found to have two different blood types, or to develop different sexual organs from those that would be associated with the rest of their body.
The presence of cells or tissues from two individuals, chimeras, or the presence of cells and tissues that include the gonads, tetragametic chimerism can be detected by the analysis of cytogenetics and analysis of polymorphic genetic markers, using patterns of pedigree inheritance. These methodologies include determination of sex chromosomes, major histocompatibility complex MHC polymorphisms and panels of short tandem repeats STRs that include mitochondrial DNA markers. Studies routinely involve cases of temporal chimerism in blood transfusion, or following allotransplantation to measure the outcome of the organ, lymphopoietic tissues or bone marrow grafts. Demonstration of persistent chimerism is usually discovered in cases of inter-sexuality due to fusion of fraternal twins or in cases of fusion of embryos with demonstrable allogeneic monoclonality of blood which, excluded maternity or paternity when blood alone is used as the source of DNA. In single pregnancies it is possible to produce two kinds of microchimerism: feto-maternal and materno-fetal, but in cases of fraternal twin pregnancies it is possible to identify three different kinds which are related to cases of vanishing twins that can be identified during pregnancy by imaging procedures; 1 hematopoietic, 2 gonadal, and 3 freemartins when the twins have different sex and the individual born is a female with either gonadal or both gonadal and hematopoietic tissues.
Using human induced pluripotent stem cells iPSC , recent studies have shown that the events underlying autism spectrum disorders ASD can occur during neonatal development. We reported altered spinogenesis of those neurons. The transplantation of human iPSC-derived neuronal precursors into mouse brain represents a novel option for in vivo analysis of mutations affecting the human brain.