RICHLAND, Wash. - We rely on DNA testing to prove innocence or guilt and paternity of children to name a few things. But in recent years, a local paternity case turned what we thought we knew about DNA testing upside down.
The chimera phenomena was highlighted a 2003 Benton County court case when a woman was told she wasn't the mother of her children. The case has since been resolved because of the research it spurred.
Richland attorney Alan Tindell took the case and is now a reference point for other lawyers across the country who have clients in similar situations.
A chimera is just like anyone else, but they have two sets of human DNA. Tindell said we're learning the impacts of chimerism may spread much further than just court cases.
"They believe it could have links to transgendered people, cancer, eating disorders autism and mental health problems, said attorney Alan Tindell.
It's also something for police and prosecutors to consider now. Experts say just because someone's DNA doesn't match a crime doesn't mean they didn't do it. For example, a chimera may have different DNA in their cheek where a sample was taken compared to their bodily fluids.