A MUM has stunned the medical world after tests showed she is made up of TWO women.
And even more incredibly she is NOT the biological mother of two of the children she conceived and had naturally.
Docs found the woman, named only as Jane, was formed from non-identical twin embryos who fused together in her own mother’s womb.
Her blood and some of her organs are made up of her own cells — while other parts of her body “belong” to her unborn sister.
The amazing condition, which baffled doctors for two years, first came to light when Jane was given the bombshell news that two of her three sons did not share her DNA.
That meant they could not be hers — even though docs confirmed her husband was their father.
Finally Jane was diagnosed as a “chimera”, a person made up of two distinct sets of DNA. There have been just 30 known cases, though this is the first described in detail.
Jane’s bizarre story, reported in the New Scientist journal, began when she needed a kidney transplant.
Doctors in the US city of Boston did blood tests on her three sons to see if they might be donors.
Instead they found two of the boys could not be her own. Dr Margot Kruskall of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston told how the results stumped her team and sparked a huge inquiry.
She said: “No-one could figure it out. One suggested Jane had secretly undergone fertility treatment using donated eggs. Another speculated she and her husband had got her sister to conceive with his sperm.”
The breakthrough came when tests on Jane’s brother revealed the sons were all related to her family in some way or other.
They then tested DNA from different parts of Jane’s body, including the thyroid gland, mouth and hair — and were astonished to find they came from two different people.
An examination of her ovaries led to the conclusion that she must be the result of embryonic twins who already had their own reproductive organs when they merged.
Cells from both twins existed in her ovaries side-by-side, meaning she could produce eggs with two different DNA fingerprints.
Dr Kruskall said the discovery meant there could be many more mums and dads who have no idea they are not their kids’ biological parents. And she warned it could have implications in custody battles.
Scientists also fear the number of chimeras will rise because increasingly common IVF treatment boosts the chances of conceiving twins.
Five years ago doctors in Edinburgh discovered a test-tube chimera who looked like a boy but had female reproductive organs. Other chimeras have shown outward signs such as eyes of different colours.