First of, let me start with the meaning of the word Mutant: An individual, organism, or new genetic character arising or resulting from mutation. One that is suggestive of a genetic mutant, as in bizarre appearance or inaptitude. Resulting from or undergoing mutation: a mutant strain of bacteria.
This is a word familiar to all fans of science fiction. Mutation refers to any sudden change of DNA that creates a change in an organism's-living thing's- appearence, behavior, or health.
Unlike in the sci-fi movies, however, scientists typically use the word mutant as an adjective rather than as a noun, as, for example, in the phrase "a mutant strain." Mutation is a phenomenon significant to many aspects of life on Earth and is one of the many things that change life as we know it. It is also the cause of numerous conditions, such as dwarfism, albinism, and cystic fibrosis. Another type is this next 3 paragraphs- The mermaid syndrome.
A girl named Tiffany was born with a mutation callled the mermaid syndrome. She had started swimming at a young age, about 2, and because she's been in the water so much, she taught herself how to swim. She got used to the water and not being afraid of it. Tiffany Yorks
was 16 and lived in Florida. She was born a mermaid. This is her Monolugue: "I was born with Sirenomelia, which is also known as mermaid syndrome. It's when a baby is born with their legs fused together from the hips down to the ankles. Alot of people don't believe me, they think it's something I made up because it kind of does sound like something somebody would make up."
Sirenomelia is mostly fatal because it affects many organs, as well as the heart. It's what's known as a midline disorder. The lower half of the body collapses in on itself, creating a single leg. This is a monolugue from the doctor who worked on Tiffany: "The first time I looked at Tiffany, you know, when she was in the hospital I said 'Yes, by golly, it is a mermaid.' And our first step, for me, was plastic surgery. How are we going to seperate the legs when there's not enough skin?] The operations on Tiffany took surgery to a new level. The lower half of her body had to be entirely rebuilt. [Everything was based on innovation and improvising what is known as the principles of plastic surgery in order to perform on the patient to make the patient survive."] Tiffany goes on for her story: "My left leg kind of points out, the ankle points out. It looks a little of weird when I lift my legs and, you know, they don't bother me. *Pause* When I first walked, I don't remember much of it, but I remember it being a very happy time because when I was little all I wanted to do was walk."
One more person with Sirenomelia was Shiloh Pepin. Although there are thought to be 5 known survivors, this 10 year old was the only one to keep her legs fused together. Having only 1, partially working kidney, no lower colon and no genital organs, such an operation could have killed the girl until she was 8. Even though she had a mermaid body, she went too dance classes and even played football. In 2007, Her pediatrician, Dr Matt Hand, knew that if she was to survive, she will need her legs separated. It was an operation that divided the family: mother Leslie wants the separation to go ahead, while father Elmer and Shiloh herself are reluctant.
Another Mutation is Giants. Chris Greener is certainly huge. If a person is 6 feet tall, he would still dwarf them. His gigantism has occasionally caused him problems, and not all of them are due to his height. His Monolugue: "[Back in 1971 I was having double vision and my eyeballs were tested, they said I was perfectly ok. And my- the doctors said 'You got to see this guy.' in the hospital. 'He looked everything and I mean everything.' and I thought, 'hang on a minute, your one eyed trousers light was imperfectly wrong so much that the televisions on this side' *Laughs* and he mentioned something about the pituitary light and I've never heard of this. Like what is the pituitary light I've never heard of this.]" But it is his way with pituitary that links him to another London giant, Charles Burn, who lived nearly 200 years before Chris was born. Charles Burn was born in 1761 in Irelend. His skeleton still hangs in the War college of surgeons in London where he's known, affectionatly, as Charlie. Charlie died at the age of 22.
The royal college acquired Charlie's skeleton under dubious not to say embarrising circumstances. The story goes that Charles Burn feared that his corpse would end up on the dissection table. He was right. When he died, says one reporter, people surrounded his house just as harpooners would surround an enourmous whale. The surgeon, John Hunter, got the corpse, boiled it down, and put it on display. It was only much later that someone figured out why Charlie was so tall. In 1911 Sir Arthur Keep then creator of his remains sawed Charlie's skull in half and looked inside. He found that the cavity left by the pituitary gland normely the size of a pea was, in Charlie's skull, the size of a small tomatoe. The pituitary is immensly powerfull. It secretes growth hormone into the blood stream which then send a simple message to the body cells: grow and divide. It is the multiplier of flesh and bones. "[I was told I had over 200 times of the hormone and the results of it made me grow.]"
And then there are conjoined twins. Our story begins in Paris, 1829. And it begins with the deaths of 2 small girls. No sooner had they breathed their last breath on earth, then a band of anatomous came to steal their corpses. For the anatomous who took them, they were marvels of nature. They brought the remains to Mazane de Swell Natural and then they cut them up. Except they didn't cut up 2 corpses, they cut up 1. Ritta-Christina Parodie were daughters of Sardinian peasants. Unknown in life, they were famous in death. The girls were beautiful, and they were strange. Individualy, proufoundly deformed, together they were symmetrical, proportionate, and utterly conjoined. One of the anatomous who attended the disection was Editon Jauffre Santelere. In 1829, Editon Jauffre Santelere was proffeser of comparitave anatomy at the Paris Museum. One of the most mircual intellect of his time, everything he wrote has a touch of genius, and of the obssured. It is in his hands that terratology, literaly the study of monsters, first becomes a science. Jauffre, he becomes the preciding genius of deformity. Jauffre was entranced by Ritta and Christina. To him they spoke of unknown forces in the stomach. But had those forces split the 2 girls out of 1, or forged 1 girl from 2... All that remains of Ritta and Christina can be found at the gallery of comparitive anatomy. Looking at this picture of them,
it is easy to see why they facinated Jauffre. Distinct from the shoulders, their torso's gradually melt into each other. They died when they were only 8 months old.
This is one of the most exciting of conjoined twins. It's a type known as Cephalothoracoiliopagus thoraco thorax, ellio entestion, pagus, the whole lot joined together. They are the Janus faced twins. That is, the two faces looking away away from each other. That's weird. But what's really weird is that each face is a compensate. Each face is made of a half of the face of twin 1 glued to half the face of twin 2. And this tells us something beautiful and important about ambrios. Two orginise is working on a single ambrio may be a neatly plauseable explanation of conjoined twins of how to get 2 ambrios out of 1, but it has nothing to do with their most important feature-the fact that they are glued together, nor does it explain why the join is always in the same parts of the bodies: head to head, waist to waist, chest to chest. Conjoinedness enthralled Jauffre. To explain it, he proposed a law. The law of affinity of like for like. He believed that as the ambrios are formed, the cells took a magnetism to identify and to link with their own kind. Jauffre hadn't actually seen ambrios doing this, he just inffered it was happened this way. And he was, in essence, right. Jauffre's law, though vague, was the first scientific explanation of connectedness. Recently, we've learned alot about this. It's not caused by some vague form of attraction, but rather by celletation mollecules. The velcro of the body. They ensure that the millions of cells in an ambrio sort themselves out correctly. Each kind of cell has a unique set of them, which enables it to attatch to similar cells and those alone. The problem arises when a twin get's in the way. If that happens the cells of the 2 ambrios stick together and can become hopelessly intertwined.
Laurie and Reba Shepel are 42 years old and they are the only adults in America to be joined at the head. Laurie and Reba's monolugues- "My name is Laurie Shepel and I live in a little town called Rennie, Pennsylvania.-Hi, I'm Reba. live the same place she does. I'm in show buisness, I'm a singer and actor.] Laurie-[We share bone, tissue, and blood lines, that's it. We're conjoined at the corner of each of our left eyes. We each have an eye. If you were to seperate us, we each have a full, functioning body." Laurie and Reba both have the same brain tissue. But despite the close relationship of the connection, each has their own, pugnent personallity. Their concerns, they say, are the same as anyones, and just as prosaic. Laurie-"You know I don't wake up saying, 'oh my goodness, I'm a conjoined twin!' I don't go to bed with the last thing on my mind, 'I'm a conjoined twin.' I go to bed wondering if I turned off the stove or if I didn't leave the house with something running that shouldn't be. You know, I'm just another person with a little connection with my sister."
And last, but certainly not least, the amazings that are smaller and less complex than the others. Such as bone mutatiuons, aging mutations, and some things that are remarkable, like actuall superhumans. Others are vampirism and life after death. Other things are out of the body, where you are dead for a few minutes, see what's happening around you, then come back to life.
The first I should talk of is Brooke Greenberg, the amazing girl who doesn't age. She may look like a 6 month old infant, but in fact, she just turned 16. Doctors say she's got a condition that prevents her from growing and aging. If you watch her home videos or look at pictures, you can she that she is frozen in time. As the people around her change, she remains the same as she was before. It's clear in pictures with her and her younger sister, Carly. If you look at the pictures, you would see the growing of Carly, but not of 16 year old Brooke. And that's the only way you can tell. Brooke was delivered a pre-me, 4 weeks early, to her parents, Howard and Melanie Greenberg. Although there were many complications, she was sent home after just 5 weeks. And the Greenbergs reveled in their new baby girl. But as the months past, Brooke Didn't develop like her 2 older siblings. It was 6-9 months that the Greenbergs realized she was growing way to slow. She'd be in the 2 or 3 percentile, and by age 4, she stopped growing were confused. They had never seen anything like this. I n medicine, doctors like to label something, but the thing about Brooke was that she didn't match anybody else. Brooke should be in 11th grade but she cannot walk or talk and has the mind of a 9 month old. She requirs 24/7 medical care and attends a special needs school in Baltimore. Walker, the director of the Society for Applied Reasearch and Aging has studied Brooke's cells and DNA, searching for a gene mutation that could bring immortality, and why little Brooke doesn't age. But to the Greenbergs, it's not a scientific annomaly, just 1 of their teenage daughters. She looks like a 6 month old, but she kind of acts like she is 16. Sometimes the family jokes about how she rebels, and she make's it known what she likes and what she doesn't. If somebody knocked on the door of their home right now, and said 'This is a guaranteed pill, if you give it to Brooke, she'll be fixed.' They would say, 'Thank you, but no thank you.' They love her just the way she is and they don't want to change her. She is very rare and unique, nobody has seen anything like her. Doctors are trying to modify this mutation to make people be immortal, and making people live young longer and such.
Then the real superhumans. Over the last, I don't know, about 20 years, Discovery channel has been telling people about the most incredible people, called superhumans, or amazings. People like, say, Esref, who challenged our knowledge on blind people's spacial awareness with his 3d paintings and Wim Hof, the iceman, whose the only person ever to climb Mnt. Blanc with bare feet. These are the real superhumans of the world. Wim Hof ran barefoot on ice and snow for 1 hour. He didn't get frost bite, he didn't get Hypothermia, and he feels no pain. He has the power to live in the cold, to withstand tempertures so freezing, others would die. He does this by willing himself to heat up. Imagine if YOU could do that. "After training and experience I found out we have a sort of thermostat here *Points to head* and I know how to reach it. Not by hand. Just with my mind." In Turkey lives the most remarkable painter. His name is Esref Armagan. He was born without eyes. "No one can call me blind. I can see more with my fingers than sight if people with their eyes." Esref proved that you don't need eyes to see. In Zurich, Switzerland, there lives a woman with incredible sensory powers. When Elizabeth Salsa. When she hears music, she can also see and taste it. "When I listen to music, I always see the colors and the forms." This fusing of her senses gives Elizabeth a big advantage. She has a miraculous memory. In Welzheim, Germany lives a misfit named Rudiga Gahn. His brain is a portal to an infinite world of numbers. "People call me the human calculator because I am able to calculate better than the normal body calculator." He processes imformation at lightning speed.
There is a man called Mark Philipy who is 300lb and can move an object nearly 85 times his own weight. People hooked up a 26,000lb truck to Mark, and we're going to see how far he can walk with it. David Sandler is a sports physist and president of strength pro, a consulting firm for athletes To determine how Mark holds the truck, Sandler puts on him a bunch of biomedical sensors. "We're going to mesure his muscle activity We're going to measure his breath by breath ventilation rate and we're going to measure his heart rate." The data will reveal how hard the truck pull is on Marks body. Assisting David is Allen Massy, an engineer with Biopack, a company that specializes in medical data. To determine how much pulling force Mark generates to move the truck, the team also brings in Tom Caseel, who specializes in the design of industrial load cells. "We have 20,000 pon-load cell that is hooked up to the front of the truck that a strong man's gonna pull." The load cells will measure Mark's power and pounds of force. The biomedical data is syncronized to the load cell, so the team can compare each of Mark's muscle movement to the load cell data. Recording not just how hard he pulls, but when and with wich muscles. "We'd never analized anything like this before. I expect heavy breathing very high heart rate. Minute by minute this is probably the most demanding activity in all of sport." Says David Sandler. Mark Phillipi pulls the truck almost easily. Mark pulled the truck 120 ft., and he did it in about 28 seconds, give or take a few. The key to this superhuman feet lies at the intersection of geometry
andphysics. A technology called motion capture tells us how. Mark leans forward at about 45 degrees, to drive the greatest force down the leg and into the ground. A higher angle and it'll generate less force. Lower angle, and his feet couldn't maintain enough traction. Here's the surprise: Mark doesn't perform 1 sustained pull. He pulls the truck repetively. Despite the truck's 13 ton weight, it takes only 500lbs of force to get it rolling. After each pull, the force drops close to 100lbs. Because the truck is so heavy, friction slows it down almost immediatly as the force drops. Mark must then pull again to keep it rolling. Driving the force back up to 500lbs. This on-off cycle continues turning the entire pull up to 500lbs and back down again and again. It's like doing a quarter ton squat not once, but 48 times. And in less then 30 seconds. But that is still not all. The bio-medical data reveals it's own surprise. Despite the enormous muscular strength, Mark's breathing remains steady, similar to a marathon runner. Mark was breathing about once every second, but breathing pretty shallow, like a leader who's tying, and so it's very regular during the course of the entire pull. Mark paced himself for the pull, breathing and heart rate remained regular. Pulling a truck my seem lika a feet of strength, but it's really a feet of strength and durance.
And those are the amazings. For more, click the Rich Text Document for videos on this. Thank you for taking a time of your life to read this. Seeya!
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