TECH

These Three Genetic Mutations Can Grant People 'Superhuman' Powers

We're all secretly mutants.

31/05/2017 16:03

Ever dreamed of being a superhero - being able to fly, have superhuman strength or just being able to rock a lycra catsuit? Well you’re not alone.

Now a team of scientists have explained how some of the human population do actually have advanced powers because of mutations in their DNA.

There are three specific genes, discussed in the YouTube video by SciShow, one that gives people increased strength, another for speed, and the final one for a larger skeleton.

And they may only require small changes to the gene pattern to manifest as real powers, without causing any averse health side effects. 

YouTube/SciShow

The first gene is MSTN, which produces a protein known as myostatin, responsible for growing muscle in the body.

Scientists have found at least one mutation in this MSTN gene, which results in a loss of function and causes the body to stop making myostatin molecules or proteins that work, so your muscles grow bigger and divide far more easily than normal people.

Meaning that in some cases, even children can look like extra-ripped bodybuilders with a huge boost in muscle and strength, without all the hours at the gym.

The team hopes that this knowledge could be used in therapies for those with weak muscle or those whose muscle cells have died prematurely.

The second mutation in ACTN3 gene gives increased speed, as it affects alpha-actinin-3 proteins in fast-twitch muscle fibres. These cells allow your muscles to contract quickly, giving bursts of force necessary to spring like Usain Bolt.

A mutation in this gene has been noted in some top sprinters and weight lifters, in theory helping them with their superhuman athletic abilities. 

The final gene is LRP5, which gives you an extra strong Wolverine-like skeleton, encouraging bones to grow thicker and denser.

Although this mutation is also likely to cause problems with overgrowth and could cause your skull to push on your brain or your bones to interfere with your nerves. 

So next men you’re daydreaming about superpowers, remember our individual hair and eye colour, or food allergies, mean we are all mutants in some way or another.

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