8 Super Powers Caused By Genetic Mutations

Humanity shares a common ancestor, yet we come in a wide variety of appearances due to genetic mutations. Every now and then, genetic mutation gives some humans something other than just a change in appearance; something extraordinary to mankind. Check out the following super powers caused people got from their genes:

8. Resistance to a Brain Disease

During the 20th century, a fatal and degenerative brain disease called Kuru spread among the Fore people of Papua New Guinea. The disease was transmitted by the cannibalism of dead relatives for respect purposes. Individuals diagnosed with Kuru would suffer from memory loss, seizure, and personality changes and would die within a year. Although Kuru killed a lot of the Fore people, few people survived with the development of a new gene called G127V.

7. Reduced Need for Sleep

A stressed busy lifestyle might force some of us to sleep less than eight hours a day. There are a fortunate less than 1% of the short-sleepers who are blessed with a rare genetic mutation of the gene DEC2 which makes six hours of sleep or less sufficient. People with this gene have more intense REM states and so feel absolutely fine after waking up from fewer hours of sleep than we most need.

6. No Increase of Bad Cholesterol

Being born with a missing gene is usually problematic, but that is not the case with people born missing copies of PCSK9. Lack of this gene made the ones missing it miss having an increase in cholesterol no matter how fatty their diets are. This trait encouraged drug manufacturers to work on blockers of PCSK9 and we might see it approved by FDA soon.

5. Great Bone Density

Osteoporosis and other bone fragility problems develop with aging. The reverse of osteoporosis happens by the mutation of the SOST gene that stimulates bone growth. Individuals carrying two copies of the gene get a dangerous case of gigantism, yet those who inherit only on copy just have higher bone density. Researches are being executed to benefit from SOST to eliminate osteoporosis.

4. Adaptation to Extremely Low Temperatures

Our bodies react to cold temperatures by shivering and we usually can’t take extremely cold temperatures for long periods of time. However, there are people like Inuits, aboriginal Australians and indigenous Siberians who are better adapted to cold temperatures and can thrive in conditions others humans cannot handle.

3. Seeing Well Underwater

Vision requires refraction of light from the air to our eyes. When you change the medium you are looking through, by looking through water for example, the angle of refraction changes resulting in blurred vision. Moken people, who spend a lot of time in the sea, have their eyes adapted to see clearly under water at depths that can reach 22 meters.

2. Protection from HIV

When HIV comes to invade cells, it enters through the CCR5 proteins. There is a genetic mutation that disables this protein in people; thus making it hard for the virus to enter cells. Although this mutation is very helpful against HIV, the deadly virus still finds a way to enter cells in a number of people lacking CCR5.

1. One Copy of a Deadly Gene to Defy a Deadly Disease

Sickle cell anemia is a condition caused by genetic mutation where red blood cells are deformed to have crescent shapes. People with two copies of the gene responsible for sickle cell anemia die from the condition. However, one copy of the gene helps its carriers to be resistant to malaria as the malaria parasite wouldn’t recognize the sickle-shaped blood cells.

Genetic Mutations

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