Human genes sometimes have some magical abilities as long as they have a slight mutation. For example, the mutation of the FAM134B gene on chromosome 5 can make people immune to pain and become a superman who is not afraid of pain; mutations in several genes on chromosome 2 may give you a pair of eyes that look like wearing cosmetic contact lenses… In addition, the blue race that resembles an avatar and the super eyes that can see 100 million colors are all “gifts” given to mankind by genes.
“Avatars” on Earth
In a remote mountainous area in eastern Kentucky, there is a village called “Trouble Creek”. Once, the people here were blue-skinned. They were isolated from the world for more than 100 years. Until 1960, the troubled villagers of Trouble Creek, who were plagued by blue skin, finally decided to turn to medicine. They found Madison Kaven, a hematologist at the University of Kentucky. Kaven and his assistant nurse Ruth Pendergrass uncovered the secret of Trouble Creek Blue Race.
It turned out that the villagers suffered from a disease called methemoglobinemia. This disease prevents cells from synthesizing a cytochrome b5 methemoglobin reductase, causing the concentration of methemoglobin in red blood cells to increase by more than 1% compared to other people. We know that hemoglobin plays a role in transporting oxygen in the blood. When oxygen is sufficient, hemoglobin will appear red, so normal human blood is usually red; when oxygen is insufficient, hemoglobin will appear blue-green. In patients with methemoglobin, their methemoglobin has lost the ability to transport oxygen, and it looks blue-green at all times. As a result, the skin of Trouble Creek people also showed a sickly blue color.
The cause of the blue skin may be acquired, but the blue skin of Trouble Creek people has been passed down from generation to generation, and their cause is obviously congenital.
Professor Kavin checked the genetic map of Trouble Creek people and finally found the source of the disease. The ancestors of the entire village are a couple named Martin Fugate and Elizabeth Smith. Fugate had already shown symptoms of methemoglobinosis at the time, and Elizabeth was a carrier of the mutation gene of the disease, that is to say, she There is no symptom of blue skin, but the combination of the two of them greatly increased the incidence of methemoglobinemia. Sure enough, the couple had seven children, four of whom had blue skin. Then, the tragedy continued, because Trouble Creek is a small town with inconvenient transportation, which means that people here are facing the predicament of inbreeding, so the gene that causes the disease has spread in the village for more than 100 years.
Fortunately, in addition to the inconvenience of blue skin to people, methemoglobin disease has not caused other troubles. Most of the people here can live to 80 or 90 years old. Later, Kavin asked the people in the village to take methylene blue tablets and avoid inbreeding, helping them to restore their normal skin color. In 1975, when the last “Avatar” of Trouble Creek was born, Benjamin Stacey, the people here finally got rid of the trouble of blue skin.
See women in hundreds of millions of colors
How many colors can a normal person see? Scientists believe that human cone cells have three photosensitive pigments. These three photosensitive pigments can distinguish the shades and superimposed changes of different colors, so we can distinguish 1 million different colors. This is already amazing, after all, no one can name all the colors. But you know what? There are people in the world who can see 100 million colors, and all colors have rich changes in their eyes!
Consetta Antico, a female oil painting teacher in San Diego, California, is just such a person who can see 100 million colors, and the world in her eyes is more colorful than ordinary people.
For example, the white light emitted by the most common energy-saving lamp in life. Normal people can’t see what color the white light is made of. But Consetta can. She can see orange, yellow, pink and orange in a white light. Green, and some magenta and blue.
Another example is the color of blood. In the eyes of ordinary people, blood is a variety of different shades of red, but Consetta said no. She looked at her blood vessels through her skin, and from different angles, she could see that her blood was green and purple. , Yellow and red and other colors.
Consetta is very happy that she has such an ability. This extraordinary visual ability allows her to paint with richer colors. This is one of the advantages of her winning the American Advanced Art Award. Consetta’s superpower stems from the fact that her cones have four photosensitive pigments, one more than ordinary people. In 2012, Dr. Jamison from the University of California, Irvine, performed genetic sequencing on Consetta, proving that she was indeed a four-color viewer. The “gift” given by genes will not favor everyone. Consetta’s daughter inherited her mutated X chromosome, but eventually became a colorblind patient.