Cells Exchanged During Pregnancy Live On

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2169-2172
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5576.2169

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Cells exchanged during pregnancy can live on indefinitely in the mother and child. This so-called microchimerism, viewed at first as an oddity, has been linked to autoimmune diseases and complications of pregnancy. Indeed, microchimerism might help explain one of the puzzles about autoimmune diseases: why many of them strike more women than men.