A question I pose to you is can the DNA be directly influenced via meditation or by directed thought? Yes or no? If you say yes, then can this directed genetic manipulation be utilized to make one stronger, smarter or more psychically inclined? Just a thought… ~Tony
Humans have yet to sprout adamantium claws, but certain gene mutations have produced some pretty amazing, real-life super powers.
If it’s mutant super powers fans want to see, there’s no need to depend on some fictional, CGI-enhanced Marvel make-em-up. There are very real people with very real gene-based super abilities all around us!
First, let’s start off with the fact that mutations do not mean retractable adamantium claws nor the ability to control the weather. In fact, these little genetic typos typically result in very minor changes, which (when they aren’t deadly) are often not visible.
Mutations are the means by which nature adds new variants into the genetic pool. If these traits are advantageous (or at least benign), they are passed along through the generations until they become a normal part of a species’ grander gene pool.
Without mutations, evolution would not be possible—species could never gain new abilities or attributes. For example, in our species’ recent past (around 12,000 years ago), a single human had a mutation that gave him the “superpower” to drink cow’s milk and not get sick, which was then passed to half the world’s population. Now we have cheeseburgers.
Scientists believe that every time the human genome duplicates itself there are around 100 new mutations. They’re pretty common, and usually negligible. However, it would stand to reason that within the pantheon of human mutations, some would express themselves in the form of extraordinary superhuman abilities.
Finnish Olympic skiing champion Eero Mantyranta may have been the first Finnish sportsman to test positive for hormone doping (which was totes kosher back in the 1960s), but he probably didn’t need to since he had genetic super endurance powers!
Along with other members of his extended family, Mantyranta had a condition resulting from a mutation in the erythropoietin receptor gene, which resulted in the ability to carry 50 percent more oxygen in his bloodstream, a trait that is quite advantageous in endurance competition.
When most people think of genetic disorders, they usually picture the ones that result in physical frailty. However, going by Shamalanian logic, there should also be genetic disorders from the other side of the bell curve that result in superhuman strength. And that seems to be the case with Michigan boy Liam Hoekstra.
Liam has a rare genetic condition in which his body doesn’t produce the protein myostatin, which inhibits muscle growth. Individuals or animals with this deficiency tend to have much larger muscles with little body fat; an inherent super strength!
While Liam doesn’t appear to boast any fantastical car-tossing strength, he is naturally stronger than all his peers without doing any training. The only downside to his condition is that he must eat more than his peers in order to “keep up” with his body.
Hyper Photographic Memory!
You may have difficulty remembering the exact details of the late-1970s TV sitcom Taxi, but actress Marilu Henner sure doesn’t. And not just because it was her most notable role, but rather because she has a condition known as hyperthymesia, or the ability to recall every tiny, stupid detail from her life going back decades. Ev-er-y detail.
Marilu is only one of 25 confirmed cases of hyperthymesia, which allows her to pinpoint the smallest details of her life on nearly any given day. She told ABC that rifling through her memory is similar to viewing “little videos moving simultaneously… When somebody gives me a date or a year or something, I see all these little movie montages, basically on a time continuum, and I’m scrolling through them and flashing through them.”
While some scientists theorize hyperthymesia is the result of an obsessive-compulsive need to constantly review (and therefore renew) one’s memories, there is also a physiological link in which the temporal lobe and caudate nucleus of the brain are found to be enlarged in the afflicted.
Members of an unnamed Connecticut family were found to “suffer” from a genetically linked condition, which resulted in significantly stronger and denser bones. Additionally, the bones appeared to be resistant to age-related wear, a sort of anti-osteoporosis.
In the late 1970s, the virus that would later be known as HIV ravaged the gay community. But one man managed to never get sick even as boyfriends and acquaintances around him fell to the then-mysterious ailment.
Stephen Crohn was found to have a “delta 32 mutation,” which protected his CD4 white blood cells from HIV. Due to this small genetic change (which otherwise had no apparent effects), Crohn was completely immune to HIV. Within any disease outbreak, a few individuals in a population are always found to be immune for one reason or another, and these cases help scientists describe the disease and devise treatments.