Have you ever thought of yourself being a superhero? I guess this has always been one of our fantasies, perhaps for most of us. We all have at some point wished we had superpowers for doing extra ordinary things. While this thought often appear to be food just for the imagination, scientists are currently working hard to see if humans can actually have some extraordinary abilities. Geneticists and molecular biologist are beginning to explore the human genome to actually see if there is anyway to track gene mutations responsible for some superhuman abilities.
Immunity to Poison
To be immune to poison has always been a dream of many. Even in the olden days, people engaged in weird activities to gain that immunity. According to Roman history, Caesars often drink poison to gain immunity. The practice became prominent among Caesars since poisoning was the usual way of assassinating them. So in order to be immune to poison and prevent assassination through it, Caesars had to adopt the habit of drinking the poison itself to gain that immunity. However, research have shown that some genes when mutated can actually make the body develop natural immunity to poisonous substances.
For example, Arsenic is a very toxic substance that even when ingested in small amount could result to something very fetal. But for thousands of years, villagers of San Antonio de los Cobres in Argentina have been sipping mountain water laced with 80 times the safe level of arsenic and surprisingly they are still alive. Scientists actually wondered what could be the reason for their immunity. But after several studies, they got to realize that a gene called the "AS3MT gene" could be the savior of this villagers. It is a gene that allows the body to process arsenic rather than let it build to dangerous levels, so owners of these microscopic mutants gene can swallow as much of this substance as they want without any call for emergency. However, Scientist are currently exploring ways to mutate this gene so it provides general immunity to poison.
The Gene For Unbreakable Bones
Scientists are beginning to explore a particular gene known as the LRP5 gene. It is the gene responsible for bone mass and bone density. It is perhaps the gene that gives the bone its strength. Mutation in this gene could cause osteoporosis (lower bone density). However, scientist have also discovered that another form of mutation can also cause the bone to become resistance to fracture and being broken. Studies are going on on how to mutate the gene in everybody so everyone becomes resistance to broken bones.
The gene for Super Speed
The ACTN3 gene is known as the “sprinter gene” or “speed gene”. It is the gene that controls the fast twitch muscle fibers that make us run. Research has shown that mutation in this gene could make one run like a superhero....who can move almost with the speed of light. Much research are currently going on about the subject. Scientist are exploring several ways through which the gene can be tweaked a little bit for the sake of athletes.
Immunity to electricity
There are some people who are actually resistance to electricity. A Serbian man known as Slavisa Pajkic, is one of the few persons on earth that is totally resistant to electric shocks. The reason is because he has no sweat glands or salivary glands that produces fluid through which electricity gets into the body. This is the result of a rare genetic mutation. Researchers are currently tracking down the gene responsible for this characteristic.