Q. My kids told me that transplant recipients sometimes take on characteristics of their donors. Give me a break—that can’t be true, can it?

A. This is a phenomenon that has been seen occasional with heart and kidney transplants. In his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, released in 1993, Deepak Chopra addressed cellular memory. At some level and in some circumstances it appears that when tissues are moved from one body to another, the cells from the first body carry memories into the second body.

In 1997, Claire Sylvia wrote a memoir entitled A Change of Heart that detailed her experiences after receiving a heart transplant from a young male donor. You might find it an interesting read. She interviewed Clive Backster, a pioneer in the development of lie detectors, who has gone on to perform experiments with plants and with human leukocytes. His experiments suggested that plants may be able to communicate with other life forms at a cellular level and may even experience the botanical equivalent of some human emotions). Human white blood cells typically exhibit an unmistakable reaction when their donor is subjected to specific emotional stimuli such as fear/anger/excitement, even when they are miles apart).