Holland Family DNA Project

Q's and A's

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Q:  Does a blood transfusion change your DNA?
A: The short answer is "no," and the longer answer is "no way." We assembled our own little blog of blood to explain, drawing from a San Diego Union Tribune column, a posting on the MadSci Network, and several other sources.

It seems blood is composed of four main elements: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. And, indeed, white blood cells do contain DNA. However, most blood transfusions involve only red blood cells, which do not contain DNA. And even in a rare whole blood transfusion, no traces of foreign DNA from the white blood cells have been detected in a recipient's blood.

On the other hand, there is at least one situation in which a transplant can change your DNA. After a bone marrow transplant, the DNA in a blood sample may actually reflect the donor rather than the recipient. That's because in this case, blood stem cells are transferred. The recipient will produce blood that contains the donor's cellular elements but almost none of his or her own DNA. And yes, this would affect DNA blood evidence (though there are other ways to test for DNA.)


Q:  What is a DYSxxx?
A:  The "name" of a marker on the Y-chromosome.  It is assigned based on a momenclature system controlled by the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee which assigns DYS numbers to newly discovered markers. 


Q:  What is an SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism)?
A:  A  change in the DNA that happens when a single nucleotide (A, T, G, or C) in the genome sequence is altered.  A person has meny SNPs that together create a unique DNA pattern for that individual. 


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Holland Family History and Family Tree:  Holland Family Resource Center
Diana Holland Faust 
Published  10 June 1996   This page added 6 November 2003   Last updated 10 March 2014