Approximately 100 people in the world have sclerosteosis, a genetic condition that makes their bones nearly invincible. Researchers first identified the mutation in an isolated Dutch community that had abnormally thick skulls and large bones. Anecdotal tales had alleged that some residents survived being struck by cars in accidents that left the autos totaled. DNA sequencing has since allowed scientists to develop synthetic antibodies that mimic the mutation and gene –altering drugs that could allow patients to walk away from bone-crushing blow may soon be available.
Researchers stumbled upon a genetic mutation that allows people to feel no pain in a family of Pakistani street performers who were documented burning themselves on hot coals and stabbing themselves with sharp knives as entertainers. The “congenital analgesia” is the result of faulty protein that forms the electrical paths of pain – signaling nerves. Scientist are now investigation molecular inhibitors such as spider venoms to replicate the effect of the mutation although current “ mutants” warn of dangers to feeling no pain, and an original study participant died after jumping off a roof.
In 2004, scientists identified a German baby with abnormal muscle mass and characteristics of “super- strength” thanks to a rare mutation in the MTSN gene that limited the myostatin production regulating his muscle growth. The child and other like him can develop twice the muscle mass of a normal human with half the normal body fat and the to and the toddlers have been recorded lifting 10lb (4.5Kg) weights and punching holes in walls during tantrums. Researchers are now exploring the use of viruses to deliver modified genes that could given anyone enhanced muscle strength.
Dean Karnazes is an ultra-long-distance runner with the ability to run for 3 days and nights without stopping. He has run 350 miles (560km) without sleep and completed -13°F (-25°C) south Pole and 120°F (49°C ) desert marathons. Test have shown his body has an unusual ability to rapidly clear the lactate generated when his muscles burn energy overcoming the stinging fatigue of lactate build-up that eventually cripples most runners. Studies have already id’d “druggable target” genes in Olympic athletes and believe similar muscle endurance can be programmed.
Slavisa Pajkic became known as The Battery man in 1983 after channeling a 2000 volt electric current through his body and has since been recorded frying a sausage and boiling water with electricity conducted via his hands. It is suspected that Pajkic suffers from a genetic anomaly that inhibits sweat, allowing currents to pass through his skin. Other “electric men” have also been identified as having unusually thick akin and high electrical resistance. In interviews, Pajkic has expressed interest in trying to channel and shoot 1M volts of electricity from his fingertips.