10 Genetic Mutations That Can Give People ‘Superhuman’ Abilities: Super Flexibility, Resistance To Fat, And More

We’re all born with genes that determine everything from our eye color to gender, and beyond. But, some of us are born with genetic mutations that lead to ‘superhuman’ abilities.

In the video below, 10 mutant genes are explained — from the ability to run fast to the ability to see over 100 million shades of colors.

Read: Genetic Mutations, Explained; You're Probably A Mutant, But It's A Far Cry From X-Men

1. Super Taste

Supertasters experience the sense of taste, especially bitter tastes, with a greater intensity than the average person. Studies conclude about 25 percent of people have supertasting abilities. Researchers believe it was developed thousands of years ago as a way to avoid potentially poisonous plants, which are usually bitter-tasting.​

2. Super Flexibility

Those who are affected by Marfan syndrome have a mutation in the protein Fibrillin-1, which affects the body’s connective tissue, giving people with this mutation the ability to bend in all different directions. Some common signs of the disorder include long arms, legs, fingers, a curved spine, flat feet, and a tall, thin body. People with the condition may also experience serious health complications affecting the heart, eyes, blood vessels, and bones.

3. Super Speed

Mutations in the gene ACTN3 are associated with the ability to run fast. ACTN3 produces the protein alpha-actinin-3, which is responsible for the fast-twitch muscle fibers that allow us to run. Research has indicated that people with higher than average levels of this protein may be able to out-run the majority of us. 

4. Resistance To Poisoning

An entire community of people in a small town in Argentina have inherited a gentic mutation that makes them resistant to arsenic poisoning. The village of 6,000 people are known to survive after consuming more than 80 times the amount of arsenic an average person would die from. Scientists believe this phenomenon is because the village's water supply has been laced with naturally forming arensic for thousands of years. People in this community are believed to have the gene AS3MT, which helps them flush out toxins much faster than the average person.

5. Resistance To Fat

The inability to gain weight may sound like a dream come true to many people, but the reality of your body being resistant to fat is far from glamourous. MDP syndrome, which affects 8 people in the world, prevents fat from being stored under the skin. Instead, it gets deposited in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes and other health complications.

superman A small number of people are born with rare genetic mutations that are responsible for everything from being super flexible to having super speed. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

6. Super Vision

A condition called tetrachromacy allows people to see almost 100 million different colors. In comparison, the average human can only differentiate between about 1 million. This is caused by a mutation in the opsin gene, which is responsible for producing visual pigments for color vision. 

7. Unbreakable Bones

The same gene mutation that can lead to osteoporosis, the condition that results in weak and brittle bones, can also result in the opposite effect - unbreakable bones.

8. Shock-Proof Skin 

Slavisa Pajkic, or "The Battery Man," has a gene mutation that results in no sweat or salivary glands. Since these glands are absent, his body is able to resist electricity. According to the video, Pajkic has been known to withstand voltages as high as 20,000 volts. To put that into perspective, most people would be severely injured and burned by 50 volts. 

9. Immunity To Pain 

Congenital insensitivity to pain (CIP) is a rare condition in which a person can't feel pain, even if they break a bone, get burned, or experience any other type of injury. CIP is caused by a mutation in the gene SCN11A. This mutation decreases the amount of sodium in the body's cells, which is key to alerting your brain of pain. CIP affects fewer than 100 people worldwide.

10. Super Strength

People who have a genetic mutation in the gene MSTN will pack on muscle quickly. MSTN's job is to produce myostatin, a protein that tells the body to stop creating muscle when there's already enough. Those who have this mutation typically have at least double the amount of muscle than the average human. 

 

See also: 5 Strange Genetic Mutations, From Unbreakable Bones To Fish Odor Syndrome​

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