Coffee and the Morning News.... A father failed a paternity test because genes in his saliva differ from those in his sperm!

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know I'm a news-a-holic - love to read anything and everything and usually have a comment on it!  But this one was not only interesting for the obvious reasons, but another one, that I'll get into in a minute.


DNA researchers report a father failed a paternity test because the genes in his saliva differ from his sperm’s. One in eight people might possess such “chimeric” genes caused by a twin lost in the womb.

"A 34-year-old U.S. man is the first-ever reported case of a paternity test fooled by a human “chimera” — someone with extra genes absorbed from a nascent twin lost in early pregnancy.

About 1 in 8 single childbirths are thought to have started as multiple pregnancies. Cells from these miscarried siblings are sometimes absorbed in the womb by a surviving twin — but are only rarely discovered by surprises such as the paternity-test puzzle.

“Even geneticists are blown away by this,” Barry Starr, a geneticist at Stanford University, told BuzzFeed News.

Last year, a Washington couple came to Starr, who answers the “Ask a Geneticist” questions on the website of the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California, looking for help with what appeared to be a mistake at a fertility clinic. The answer to their mystery points to a possible genetic loophole in standard paternity testing, Starr said — “one where we have no idea how big the problem is.”

In June 2014, the parents (who have chosen to remain unnamed because of concerns for their privacy and confidentiality of medical records) had a son with the help of fertility clinic procedures. The boy was born healthy, but strangely, his blood type didn’t match that of his parents.

An at-home paternity test suggested an explanation: The man wasn’t actually the father of the child.

“You can imagine the parents were pretty upset,” said Starr, whose colleagues have presented the case at two scientific meetings this month. “They thought the clinic had used the wrong sperm.”

The parents hired a lawyer and sought a more precise paternity test from an accredited lab. Just like the at-home test, the new analysis relied on skin cells from a cheek swab to check the father’s genes against the child’s. Again, the test came back negative for paternity."

"Concerned that the fertility clinic had made a mistake, the Washington couple approached them with the results of the paternity test. But the fertility clinic said that the 34-year-old father was the only white man to donate sperm at the facility on the day their son was conceived, and the child looked white.

That was when the couple approached Starr, who suggested they test the father and son with a direct-to-consumer genetic ancestry test sold by the startup firm 23andMe. The results of those tests came back late last year. Bizarrely, their results said that the man was his son’s uncle."

“That was kind of a eureka moment,” said Starr. At that point, he realized they might be dealing with a chimera.


You can read more of the story at the source I linked to at the top of this post.  But what happened is the man originally had a twin way back before his mom probably even knew he was pregnant.  But the cells for that baby don't form a life and they (very early on) are reabsorbed back into the body before anyone even knew they were there.

When I got pregnant with our son, we assumed it would be a healthy, non-issue pregnancy just like our pregnancy with his older sister was.  However, during a cross country drive to see family about 9 weeks into the pregnancy, I started bleeding and long story short, we ended up at the hospital doing testing instead of visiting family.  We ended up with images that showed I was pregnant with unexpected twins - 2 different sacs, 2 different babies, but only one was a thriving little peanut.  The other was more like a round grape.  No movement.  No heartbeat.  

My cervix was still closed, I wasn't 'losing' the babies but I was having spotting.  I took it easy, went back to our home 1000 miles away after the visit and because I happened to be in the middle of switching doctor's, I didn't see a new doctor for about 6 weeks.  At that visit, I brought the ultrasound results, letter from the doctor who saw me, and the images of the 2 babies and placentas.  However, the new ultra sounds taken that day now showed 1 baby and 1 placenta.  My body had reabsorbed the other.  It was now a single, healthy pregnancy.  Had I not had the ultra sound and the internal ultrasound images to show the babies at 9 weeks verses 16 weeks, we would never have known there was originally a twin there.  The rest of the pregnancy progressed perfectly and a healthy little 8 lb. 4 oz. baby boy was born.

Now... back to the news story!  So it's actually possible this story could theoretically happen to my son one day.

If he has a child and decides to do a paternity test for some reason he could conceivably have different DNA in his body as well due to the ghost-twin.  No, it's not likely... but unlike the guy in the news story, my son actually knows he had a twin in utero that was reabsorbed by my body (and possibly him as well as he grew from that 1 inch peanut into an 8 1/2 pound baby).  It was a separate sac so we know it would have been a fraternal twin, and not identical.  

And that... is what I was thinking while I was sipping my coffee and reading this particular news story.

It's just the coffee talking again.

Product Review Over Coffee: I got my Tramontina Bush Machete's from Machete Specialists (14" and 18")

This isn't a sponsored review - I did some research into what I wanted and needed and purchased these full price online from Machetespecialists dot com. 

A machete is something I've wanted for the last few years but never got around to buying one because it wasn't a priority in the budget and I could 'put off' the work I wanted to use them for until "next Fall", or I could use another tool to do it.  However, this week I found myself tackling overgrown black raspberry bushes and a jungle of briars and other invasive weeds... with a little hand held pair of pruning clippers.  And after about 2 hours of working, came into the house, got online and ordered 2 machetes (that I had already researched and bookmarked) from Machete Specialists.

About 3 years ago I started to keep my eye on various knives and machetes at the sporting goods stores and hardware stores we visited.  For the most part, I found them to be cheaply made, over priced and stamped with some tv celebrity name on them in order to sell an inferior product.  In the end, I wanted a true, 'working' machete and wanted it to be made in South America where they use and know their machetes.  Not China.

Although I had 5 machetes bookmarked; when I was going to order them, my first 2 choices were out of stock.  I had 3 in my 'cart' but could really only afford to get 2 of them so I opted for the 2 Tramontina's; a 14" and an 18". I also opted to pay a bit more to order them with sheaths so I didn't have to bother with ordering or making them separate. A leather sheath would have been nice, but again; budget.

Here are the two I bought and their product descriptions from the website:

Tramontina 14 Inch Bush Machete with Canvas Sheath

Product Description

Brand: Tramontina
Total Length: 19 inch
Blade Length: 14 inch
Weight of Machete: 12 oz
Blade thickness above handle/at tip: 1.25 mm/1.25 mm
Blade width at handle/widest point: 4 cm/6 cm
Blade Composition: SAE 1070 High-Carbon Steel
Blade Detail: Primary grind established at factory but will require further sharpening for fine edge.
Style: Bush
Handle: Natural color hardwood handle with full tang.
Features: Heavy Duty Green Canvas Sheath Included. Made in Brazil.

Tramontina 18 Inch Bush Machete with Canvas Sheath

Product Description

Brand: Tramontina
Total Length: 23 inch
Blade Length: 18 inch
Blade thickness above handle/at tip: 1.25 mm/1 mm
Weight of Machete: 15 oz
Blade width at handle/widest point: 4 cm/6 cm
Blade Composition: SAE 1070 High-Carbon Steel
Blade Detail: Primary grind established at factory but will require further sharpening for fine edge.
Style: Bush
Handle: Poly handle with full tang.
Features: Heavy Duty Green Canvas Sheath Included. Made in Brazil.

 They were delivered today.
So... what do I think?

  • The delivery was fast.  I appreciated that!  As a matter of fact, they shipped within a couple hours of me ordering them.  Kudos for that!
  • The canvas sheaths are much better quality than I was expecting.  Seeing how nice and durable they are, I didn't feel bad about not ordering a leather one after all.  
  • The knives are nice. Full tang. Have a good feel to them.
  • I opted for a wood handle on one and a poly handle on the other to see which I liked better.  I love the wood handle!  It also happens to fit the best in my hand and has a great feel to it.  The poly, I will be wrapping in either leather or possibly tennis tape for a better fit and better grip.
  • This isn't really a 'con' as it was expected; but the Tramontina's don't come factory sharpened.  I knew this and didn't think it was a big deal I'd have to put a good edge on it first - but when they arrived, I had underestimated how excited I would be to use them! It killed me not to be able to grab it and go tackle some brush asap as I have to sharpen them first.
  •  It was beat up.  As in... the tips are beat up - one more so than the other and there are a few surface scratches (eh, no biggy) but one has a pretty deep scratch to it.
My husband knew I was really excited about my new machetes so I called him when they arrived and I told him that I knew these would be 'working' machetes.  I'm not going to be hanging them on the wall or trying to keep them pretty.  I'm going to be using them and they are going to be dirty, scratched, dinged and used but I couldn't help be disappointed when I pulled them out of their sheaths and found them already sporting a couple deep scratches.  

He laughed at me... but when he was finished laughing he said he understood.  That when you get something new you want to be the one to put the first scratches, gouges and dings in it.  You don't want them to come 'new' like that.  Could I contact the company and complain?  Yeah.  But it's not an expensive blade, and I'm going to be using it for clearing brush and crap so it's not like it's not going to be dinged up by me too.  

I was just disappointed to have it arrive beat up - when I wasn't the one doing the beating.   

 Here is a deep scratch in one of the blades as it was delivered to me, brand new.

The tips are beat up a bit - not that I plan to go stab anyone with it anyway

 You can see some lighter scratches and another beat up tip

But... these blades are going to be cutting through some of the overgrown black raspberries and briars and other growth down by the creek and lining the side and back of our yard before our woods start.  Working blades.  So... I'll try not to dwell on my initial disappointment. 

Everyone has opinions on handles so I got one wood and one poly.
It ends up the wood handle is my favorite.  And, it fits my hand perfectly - I like the feel of the grip.
I may end up wrapping it if I find it gets too slippery from sweat when it's being heavily used but
I'm very happy with the wood handles.

Some people like poly handles.  I found they aren't my favorite.
But I planned on wrapping it anyway; leather or tennis grip tape, etc.
I'll decide that later.

Overall... I'm THRILLED with my blades.  Love the sizes too!  I'm a girl - about 5'5" and I opted for the 14 an 18 inches for this order.  I plan to order a 12" as well - which I will be not only using around the yard and woods but will keep in my backpack for camping and hiking.  Although a lot of guys like the longer 20, 22 and 24 or more... I don't anticipate having to fight off any zombies any time soon and for what I need it for and my size, I made a good choice.

Some products available through Amazon related to this post;

Tramontina 18" Machete, Black Handle, Nylon Sheath

Tramontina 22" Machete with Textured Black Plastic Handle and Nylon Sheath

Tramontina Bolo Machete 26624/014

Tramontina 12" Machete with Wooden Handle

Tramontina 18" Machete with Hardwood Handle and Nylon Sheath

Sam's Club changes their k-cup count in their Daily Chef brand

Shopping at Sam's Club last week I approached the coffee aisle with the only thought in my mind being whether I would spend the extra to purchase the Pike Place blend I really wanted (but only 54 cup count in the box) verses the Sam's Club Colombian that we like as well, which come 80 count to a box.

But what was this?  I was shocked when I saw the price had jumped.  My box of coffee had gone from $33 to over $38?  I have watched it jump from $22 to $28 and $33 with pain but now almost $40? 

Ahhh... the count.

I noted the box now has 100 cups in it.  The price per cup only went up a small percentage since the count went up so not entirely too painful... well, ok, yes it is.  But at least we got more cups for the price increase this time.

Just a heads up if you are in your local store;  all red and black box is the 80 count and the new box is gold, red and black.  Same coffee.  Same amount of coffee in each k-cup. 

Yes - You can get a "Christmas" Blend coffee in k-cup form! Available from the Mystic Monks along with many, many more.

I first wrote about this coffee (and the awesome people behind it) in June of 2013.  I can't believe it's been 2 1/2 years already and with Christmas coming, I thought it would be a great time to feature them again as they have a "Christmas" blend available.

Crafted using the best Arabica beans of the season, Christmas Blend 2015 has festive notes of citrus and blueberry, with a smooth malt-toned chocolate aftertaste.
I am not an affiliate of Mystic Monks and receive nothing if you choose to purchase from them and their website

 The Monk-Shots are compatible with all major single serve brewers including Keurig ®, Breville ®, Mr. Coffee ® and Cuisinart ®, single-serve machines. Each pod contains up to 20% more coffee than most major pod brands, making for a richer, fuller cup.  Unlike other single-serve options, our Monk-Shots are made with recyclable materials.
Note: Monks Shots do not work in new Keurig 2.0 K-Cup machines since only new k-cups with a special trade-marked watermark work in those machines.


Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park, in the solitude and silence of the wilderness, is a band of brothers, living the Marian life as prescribed by the primitive Carmelite Rule and the ancient monastic observance of Carmelite men.

They are the Carmelite Monks. 

The Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel is a monastic, cloistered Roman Catholic community, who seek to perpetuate the charism of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Carmelite Fathers and Brothers live in unwavering fidelity to the Magisterium of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Father.  Carmelite monks immolate their lives in the vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty for the Holy Roman Catholic Church and for the entire world. 

Mystic Monk Coffee
is roasted by the Carmelite Monks.  They roast and blend coffee to raise money to build their monastery in Wyoming.

Mystic Monk Coffee: Mystic Monk Blend Whole Bean - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Mystic Monk Blend Ground - 12 ounce bag

Mystic Monk Coffee: Breakfast Blend Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Breakfast Blend Whole Bean - 12 ounce bag

Mystic Monk Coffee: Midnight Vigils Blend Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Midnight Vigils Blend Whole Bean - 12 ounce bag

Mystic Monk Coffee: Hermits' Bold Blend Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Hermits' Bold Blend Whole Bean - 12 ounce bag

Mystic Monk Coffee: Hazelnut Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Decaf Hazelnut Ground - 12 ounce bag

Mystic Monk Coffee: Irish Cream Whole Bean - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Royal Rum Pecan Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Decaf Royal Rum Pecan Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Carmel Ground - 12 ounce bag

Mystic Monk Coffee: Dark Roast Colombian Ground - 12 ounce bag
Mystic Monk Coffee: Cowboy Blend Ground - 12 ounce bag

__________________________________________  The equivalent of the K-cup is the "Monk Shot"; available in many various blends and flavors on their site.  (Although I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a tiny commission on items purchased there,  I am not an affiliate of Mystic Monks and receive nothing if you choose to purchase from them and their website and the link to the k-cups above.  I am linking to their site in the hope that you support the cause for the sake of the cause.  I respect their lifestyle and admire them and their steadfast faith in today's world!)

Also available is their CD;

Mystic Monk Coffee: Mystical Chants of Carmel - CD

The True Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington, 1789

I really hate how America's holidays are being 'scrubbed' to be politically correct.  We are a Christian nation.  Built by Christians.  Our government based on how our early Christian Commonwealths were run.  Our Constitution put in place to encourage and ensure Christianity - our founding father's not foreseeing what our crazy country would be like 300 years later.  All but 2 of our first 108 Universities were Christian based.  Harvard's #1 rule in the student handbook began with “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3;"  And the list goes on and on. 

Like it or not...  it's our History. 
And Thanksgiving was an is indeed, about giving thanks to the one and only "Almighty God".  (George Washington's words! See below.)

Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

Page Image.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. 

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us. 

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

You  might also be interested in these items available through Amazon;
Constitution Translated for Kids
We the People: The Story of Our Constitution
U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Amendments, Federalist Papers and More: Annotated Version - English Edition
The Religious History of America: The Heart of the American Story from Colonial Times to Today
America's Providential History (Including Biblical Principles of Education, Government, Politics, Economics, and Family Life)
Teaching and Learning America's Christian History
America's Christian History: The Untold Story