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7 Cool Genetic Mutations You Could’ve Had Too!

Do you know any cool genetic mutations?

Genetic mutations are the instrument through which nature creates new variations in life. If the mutations result in advantageous traits, they pass down through the next generation and can spread through the whole population of a species.

In fact, evolution wouldn’t be possible without mutations occurring now and again to give creatures new attributes.

Take humans, for instance. Around 12,000 years ago, a single human had a mutation that provided them with the amazing power to digest milk from a cow. Nowadays, this mutation is a common trait, and there are entire industries producing and selling cow milk in various forms.

According to scientists, every time the human genome replicates itself, there are about 100 new mutations. Most of them are negligible and benign, but occasionally a mutation manifests itself in the form of a seemingly superhuman ability.

Here are some cool genetic mutations you wish you had too!

cool genetic mutations
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1. Super-dense bones

The first entry on our list of cool genetic mutations is one related to the skeletal system. Remember the movie “Unbreakable,” where Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis are at opposite ends of the bone density spectrum? That idea is based on a gene known among scientists as low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), which regulates the body’s bone density.

Mutations in this specific gene can cause degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis, which leave the bones fragile and brittle. However, in some rare cases, this gene can boost bone density to the point of adamantium-level unbreakability.

For example, in one such case, a boy from Midwestern America was in a terrible car accident and managed to walk away from it without so much as a fractured finger. This prompted scientists and doctors to examine his family, and surprisingly, they found that not a single member had ever broken a bone, including a 92-year-old grandparent.

Similar to other cool genetic mutations, there’s a slight side effect to this one. Some people with the “unbreakable bone” condition will also experience bony, protruding growth on the roof of their mouth.

2. Super vision

Next on our list of cool genetic mutations is one that enhances vision. When it comes to color vision, humans have a pretty keen eye compared to other animals. Having three types of cones present in our eyes offers us an evolutionary advantage as hunter-gatherers by better allowing us to spot berries and fruits than animals with only two types of cones.

There’s a gene mutation that causes a condition called color blindness, which disables one of these cones. According to experts, it’s much more common in males since the genes responsible for making sense of the colors green and red are found only on the X chromosome.

Since men only have one X copy, if mutations occur on this chromosome, they’re more likely to experience altered traits than women, who have two X chromosomes.

But what if, instead of impairing one of the cones, a mutation jacked up the range of colors it was able to detect? A mutation like this in a man would likely make him see a slightly shifted color spectrum. However, if the mutation occurred in a woman, it would hypothetically result in her exhibiting the ability to see a wider range of colors that are undetectable to most people.

According to a study, about 12% of women have this type of “super vision,” although experts have officially labeled the condition tetrachromacy. What do you say? Is this one of the cool genetic mutations you wish you had?

super flexibility
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3. Super flexibility

No. 3 on our list of cool genetic mutations is one that enhances body flexibility. It’s called Marfan syndrome, and people with it tend to be extremely flexible. In fact, dreadfully flexible. So dreadful that they can make a career out of playing disfigured ghouls and ghosts in horror movies.

At least that was what Spanish actor Javier Botet did when he discovered he could twist and bend his body into insanely contorted positions.

According to experts, Marfan syndrome affects the body’s connective tissues. People who have cool genetic mutations like this one tend to be abnormally tall, highly flexible, and have elongated limbs.

However, it’s a spectrum disease, meaning that people with mild cases can lead pretty normal lives, but severe cases can lead to cardiovascular impairment and other organ failures that could be life-threatening.

4. Super pain tolerance

No, this isn’t some sort of trait that superheroes possess in movies and books; it’s one of those cool genetic mutations that exist in real life. According to some studies, people with red hair have a higher tolerance for spicy foods and stinging pain.

While this could have something to do with the belief that these people don’t have a soul, it’s more likely due to a functional variation of the gene MCR1, which is responsible for red hair and also restricts melanin production. You’ve probably noticed that redheads are also pale-skinned; that’s because of this gene.

Well, it seems that these people can take the pain, as this gene mutation makes them less responsive to anesthetics injected under the skin.

5. Super sleeplessness

This is definitely one of those cool genetic mutations you wish you’d have too! How many times did you have to give up an hour or perhaps several hours of sleep to get some work done? Yeah, us too.

Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night to be fully rested and function properly the next morning. However, in 2009, a study was published in which scientists discovered the first genetic mutation that relates to sleep duration.

After examining participants and conducting genetic sleep tests on them, experts discovered a mother and her daughter shared an abnormal copy of a gene known as DEC2, which regulates the circadian rhythm. The result is that they need far less sleep than the average person.

Although the genetic mutation has only been found in these two women, scientists conducted further research in experiments using fruit flies and mice. This can give experts much-needed guidance on finding out more about sleep patterns.

Keep reading to discover other cool genetic mutations!

super strength
Photo by 1st footage from Shutterstock

6. Super strength

Next on our list of cool genetic mutations is one that gives the human body’s muscles the ability to grow larger than normal. It may sound like something out of a DC comic book or movie, but altering certain genes in the human body can actually unleash incredible strength without having to endure a difficult workout routine.

The proteins activin A and myostatin are two proteins normally secreted by muscle cells to prevent excessive growth. In other words, they regulate the number and size of your muscle cells, therefore putting a limit on your overall strength.

As you may expect, people with a genetic condition that prevents their body from producing these proteins are naturally able to develop incredibly large muscles, resulting in super strength without steroids or weightlifting.

7. Super immunity

Last but not least on our list of cool genetic mutations is super immunity. It’s called sickle-cell anemia and is a hereditary disorder caused by a mutated form of hemoglobin. This causes red blood cells to lose some of their ability to carry oxygen.

Despite the fact that this is undeniably a detriment, there’s a bright side since sickle cells have been shown to be quite resistant to malaria.

According to scientists, people with chronic sickle-cell anemia carry two copies of the mutation, whereas individuals with only a single copy are still resistant to malaria but do not show any sickle-cell symptoms. Research shows that this genetic mutation could offer up to 92% higher resistance to malaria.

So, which of these cool genetic mutations would you like to have? Let us know in the comments section!

By the way, here’s an interesting book about genetic mutations!

You may also want to read 7 Incredible Traits That You Inherited From Your Parents.


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