Monday, February 4, 2013

Blood lines

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood..."  Leviticus 17:11

There's foreign matter floating around in my blood.  And I don't mean the caffeine (though there is that too.)  It is completely separate from me, unique.  It's DNA.  And it's not mine.
It belongs to another human being with a different genetic makeup.
Scientists have discovered that they can actually separate this DNA from my own blood plasma and map it out.  They can tell if certain chromosomes are abnormal.  They can tell from others the physical traits of person - all without even seeing the person's body.
In fact, no one has ever seen this person's body.  It is only 11 weeks old.  It's about the size of a plum.
It has a heart.
It has eyes.
It has fingers and toes.
It moves.
It feels.
It has its own blood.
It has life, all its own.

New life, discovered.

By 10 weeks, there was enough personal DNA bits, probably from the placenta through natural breakdown of cells in circulation, in my blood, that some intelligent fellow somewhere thought he could track it down.
So he does, for a living.
Just like some space scientist is searching for evidence of DNA on Mars.
Just like some forensic scientist is searching for evidence of DNA at crime scenes.
It will prove life was there.

As incredible as it is that they can map out exactly a tiny being's DNA, it can still only tell the tiniest part of the life story.
The test doesn't measure that life's virtuoso talent on piano.
It can't foresee that life's genius to invent the technology that comes after the iphone.
It has no bearing on the life's ability to empower hopeless individuals.
The life could be the next President, or the best listener on the planet.
It could be the life who cures AIDS, or best chess player.
It has the potential to be the next poet laureate, or have the eyes to see those who are truly hurting inside and know what they need.
The life has to go on living before any of that becomes obvious.

But you're curious.  What did this test show?
The DNA of this particular life didn't show abnormalities for any of the chromosomes they examined.
It did notice the Y chromosome, however.

Of course.
Boy number 5.  Appearance expected around the end of August.  

And you thought your kids got under your skin.  Mine's in my blood!  :)