It’s generally accepted that our personalities, our memories, the things that make us who we are, are locked deep within our brains and that’s where they stay. Or is it? Is it possible that our memories and personalities are also locked into each and every one of our cells, too?
Imagine going into hospital to receive a kidney from a donor. You go in a strict vegetarian but come out craving a big fat steak (and not just because of the hospital food you’ve been forced to endure). Or, perhaps you went into hospital a die-hard heavy metal fan and came out desperate to listen to a spot of Beethoven? What could cause these strange and unlikely changes in personality?
There is a theory (that’s as far as it’s got at the moment because scientists frown at the concept) that if a person undergoes an organ transplant then it is possible that the recipient can take on some of the characteristics of the organ donor. For example:
In Australia, a young man by the name of Kaden Delaney was killed in a car crash and his heart was transplanted to David Waters. Not long after the transplant, David developed a serious taste for Burger Rings, whereas he’d never eaten them before. It transpired that Burger Rings had been one of Kaden’s favourite munchies.
In 1988, a woman called Claire Sylvia left hospital after receiving the heart of an 18-year-old male. She soon began to notice some strange traits in her personality that certainly weren’t hers. She found that she would strut down the street like a man, which caused a bit of an issue seeing as she was normally a graceful dancer. Her diet changed to the point where she would often fancy a nice pint and her dreams were haunted by a strange man called Tim. Claire discovered that her heart donor had been a man called Tim and her newly acquired habits very closely matched those of her donor.
A further case about a seriously ill woman receiving an organ transplant from a man can be seen here – well, YouTube videos are always a good source of entertainment for the more visually excitable amongst us:
These are just a handful of cases and, even though scientists shake their heads and frown at the prospect of cellular memory, it certainly gives us food for thought (and perhaps even a bit of a swagger, too).
©Nicola Kirk and http://www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com 2010