Sunday, April 28, 2024

Reports of Organ Transplant Recipients Also Receiving the Organ Donor's Personality

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Science & Society, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

Obviously, I'm not paying attention or missing news or perhaps it's because I haven't watched movies for a long time. Although in thinking about my movie days I recall some hints about what follows. 
Jonathan Jarry begins by reporting on a paper that "is an  attempt to document real-life cases of a trope common enough in movies: that organs contain the personality of their donors, and this personality can transform their recipient."

Jarry notes that "we know that memories reside in the brain. But do other cells in our body also retain a memory of who we are?"

Jarry discusses and comments on immunological memory, a fascinating non-brain memory of Stentor, an organism you may have seen in a biology course - the mechanism is still not understood, our tendency for "selection bias" when we read stories about how the "transplant patient suddenly matches their donor", the possible role immunosuppressant drugs - used to ensure that the transplanted organ isn't rejected, the beliefs patients bring to transplant, a paper found on the website Better Help about an article on cellular memory in which the author observes that "there is no scientific evidence behind any of this, but isn't it 'interesting to entertain?'" to which Jarry responds with important critical comments, and ends with his signature box of take-home messages.

The Jarry essay is from the Office for Science & Society, University of Montreal (includes links, one added above). 
The article opened another window into the world of pseudoscience.

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