Remember the Meta-humans from CW Network's The Flash ! Well they are for real but not all. Genetic mutations are the instrument by which nature adds new variations to life. If the mutations give rise to advantageous traits, they get passed down through successive generations and can spread throughout the entire population of a species.
10 Amazing Powers Humans Gained From Rare Genetic Mutations
Compared to many other species, all humans have incredibly similar genomes. However, even slight variations in our genes or environments can cause us to develop traits that make us unique. These differences can manifest in ordinary ways, such as through hair color, height, or facial structure, but occasionally, a person or population develops a characteristic that distinctly sets them apart from the rest of the human race.

10 Super Cool Genetic Mutations Found In Humans


#1. Crystal-Clear Underwater Vision (Aquaman)

Crystal-Clear Underwater Vision -- 10 Super Cool Genetic Mutations Found In Humans
Moken boys fish with spears in the sea around the Surin Islands.The Moken are a nomadic tribe who live on these islands 60 km off the coast of Thailand. Recent scientific studies have shown that the Moken children have crystal clear underwater vision
Most animals’ eyes are designed for seeing things underwater or in air—not both. The human eye, of course, is adept at seeing things in air. When we try to open our eyes underwater, things look blurry. This is because the water has a similar density to the fluids in our eyes, which limits the amount of refracted light that can pass into the eye. Low refraction equals fuzzy vision.That knowledge makes it all the more surprising that a group of people, known as the Moken, have the ability to see clearly underwater, even at depths up to 22 meters (75 ft).

The Moken spend eight months of the year on boats or stilt houses. They only return to land to get essential items, which they acquire by bartering foods or shells collected from the ocean. They gather resources from the sea using traditional methods, which means no modern fishing poles, masks, or diving gear. Children are responsible for collecting food, such as clams or sea cucumbers, from the sea floor. Through this repetitive and consistent task, their eyes are now capable of changing shape when underwater to increase light refraction. Thus, they can easily distinguish between edible clams and ordinary rocks even when many meters below water.

When tested, the Moken children had underwater vision twice as sharp as European children. However, it seems that this is an adaptation that we might all possess if our environment demanded it, since researchers have trained European children to perform underwater tasks as successfully as the Moken.

#2. Super-Dense Bones (Superman)

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Remember that movie Unbreakable where Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are at opposite ends of the bone density spectrum? That concept is based on a gene known as low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), which controls the body’s bone density. Mutations to this gene can cause degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, which leave the bones brittle and fragile. But, in some rare cases, this gene can jack up bone density to the point of adamantium-level unbreakability.

In one such instance, a boy from Midwestern America was in a horrible car accident and walked away from it without so much as a fractured finger. This prompted doctors and scientists to examine his kin and, to their amazement, they discovered that no one in his family had ever broken a bone, including a 93-year-old grandparent.

There is a slight side effect to the “unbreakable bone” condition though. Some people with the LRP5 mutation will also exhibit bony protruding growths on the roof of their mouth.

 #3. Tolerance For Coldness (Dr Freeze)

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Cold-dwellers have different physiological responses to low temperatures compared to those who live in milder environments. And it appears there might be at least a partial genetic component to these adaptations, because even if someone moves to a cold environment and lives there for decades, their bodies never quite reach the same level of adaptation as natives who have lived in the environment for generations. For instance, researchers have found that indigenous Siberians are better adapted to the cold even when compared to non-indigenous Russians living in the same community.

People native to cold climates have higher basal metabolic rates (around 50 percent higher) than those accustomed to temperate climates. Also, they can maintain their body temperatures better without shivering and have relatively fewer sweat glands on the body and more on the face. In one study, researchers tested different races to see how their skin temperatures changed when exposed to cold. They found that Inuits were able to maintain the highest skin temperature of any group tested, followed by other Native Americans.
These types of adaptations partly explain why aboriginal Australians can sleep on the ground during cold nights (without shelter or clothing) with no ill effects and why Inuits can live much of their lives in subzero temperatures.

The human body is much better suited at adjusting to heat than to cold, so it’s rather impressive that people manage to live at all in freezing temperatures, let alone thrive.

#4.  Resistance To HIV

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All sorts of things could wipe out the human race—asteroid strikes, nuclear annihilation, and extreme climate change, just to name a few. Perhaps the scariest threat is some type of super-virulent virus. If a disease ravages the population, only the rare few who are immune would have a chance of survival. Fortunately, we know that certain people are indeed resistant to particular diseases.

Take HIV, for example. Some people have a genetic mutation that disables their copy of the CCR5 protein. HIV uses that protein as a doorway into human cells. So, if a person lacks CCR5, HIV can’t enter their cells, and they’re extremely unlikely to become infected with the disease.

That being said, scientists say that people with this mutation are resistant rather than immune to HIV. A few individuals without this protein have contracted and even died from AIDS. Apparently, some unusual types of HIV have figured out how to use proteins other than CCR5 to invade cells. This type of resourcefulness is why viruses are so scary.
Folks with two copies of the defective gene are most resistant to HIV. Currently, that includes only about 1 percent of Caucasians and is even more rare in other ethnicities.

#5.  Can’t Get High Cholesterol

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While most of us have to worry about limiting our intake of fried foods, bacon, eggs, or anything that we’re told is on the “cholesterol-raising list” of the moment, a few people can eat all these things and more without fear. In fact, no matter what they consume, their “bad cholesterol” (blood levels of low-density lipoprotein, associated with heart disease) remains virtually non-existent.These people were born with a genetic mutation.

More specifically, they lack working copies of a gene known as PCSK9, and while it’s usually unlucky to be born with a missing gene, in this case, it seems to have some positive side effects.

After scientists discovered the relationship between this gene (or lack thereof) and cholesterol about 10 years ago, drug companies have worked frantically to create a pill that would block PCSK9 in other individuals. The drug is close to getting FDA approval. In early trials, patients who have taken it have experienced as much as a 75-percent reduction in their cholesterol levels.

So far, scientists have only found the mutation in a handful of African Americans, and those with it have the benefit of a 90-percent reduced risk of heart disease.




#6.  Malaria Resistance

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Those who have an especially high resistance to malaria are carriers of another deadly disease: sickle cell anemia. Of course, no one wants the ability to dodge malaria only to die prematurely from malformed blood cells, but there is one situation where having the sickle cell gene pays off.

To understand how that works, we have to explore the basics of both diseases.Malaria is a type of parasite carried by mosquitoes that can lead to death (about 660,000 people per year) or at the very least make someone feel at death’s door. Malaria does its dirty work by invading red blood cells and reproducing. After a couple days, new malaria parasites burst out of the inhabited blood cell, destroying it. They then invade other red blood cells. This cycle continues until the parasites are stopped through treatment, the body’s defense mechanisms, or death. This process causes a loss of blood and weakens the lungs and liver. It also increases blood clotting, which can spark a coma or seizure.

Sickle cell anemia causes changes in the shape and makeup of red blood cells, which makes it difficult for them to flow through the blood stream and deliver adequate levels of oxygen. However, because the blood cells are mutated, they confuse the malaria parasite, making it difficult for it to attach and infiltrate the blood cells. Consequently, those who have sickle cells are naturally protected against malaria.

You can get the anti-malaria benefits without actually having sickle cells, so long as you’re a carrier of the sickle cell gene. To get sickle cell anemia, a person has to inherit two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent. If they only get one, they have enough abnormal hemoglobin to resist malaria yet will never develop full-fledged anemia.

Because of its strong protection against malaria, the sickle cell trait has become highly naturally selected in areas of the world where malaria is widespread, with as much 10–40 percent of people carrying the mutation.

#7.  Super Flexibility (Elastic Man)

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People with the genetic condition known as Marfan syndrome tend to be extremely flexible. Actually, horrifyingly flexible. So horrifying that they can make a career out of playing disfigured ghosts and ghouls in horror movies. Or at least that was what Spanish actor Javier Botet did when he found out he could bend and twist his body into insane contorted positions.

Marfan syndrome affects the body’s connective tissues. People who have it tend to be abnormally tall, have elongated limbs, and be highly flexible. However, it is a spectrum disease, meaning that people with mild cases can lead fairly normal lives, but severe cases can lead to heart defects and other organ failures that could be life-threatening.

#8.  Need Little Sleep (Batman)

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Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep a night to be fully rested the next morning. However, in 2009, a journal was published in which scientists identified the first genetic mutation that relates to sleep duration in any species.

After conducting genetic tests on sleep-test participants, researchers discovered a mother and daughter who share an abnormal copy of a gene known as DEC2, which affects the circadian rhythm. The result is that they require far less sleep than the average person. Although the mutation has only been found in two people, the power of the research arises from the fact that the shortened sleep effect was replicated in experiments using mice and fruit flies. Consequently, the research has given scientists much needed guidance on where to look for genetic traits linked to sleep patterns.

#9. Super Strength (Superman)

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It might sound like something out of a comic book, but tweaking certain genes in the human body can actually unleash titanic strength without having to endure a strenuous workout routine. The proteins myostatin and activin A are two proteins normally secreted by muscle cells to suppress excessive growth. They basically regulate the size and number of your muscle cells, thereby putting a limit on your overall strength. As you might expect, people with a genetic condition that prevents them from producing these proteins are naturally able to grow their muscles extraordinarily large, resulting in super strength without weightlifting or steroids.

#10.  Super Vision

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As far as color vision goes, humans have pretty keen sight relative to other animals. Having three types of cones present in our eyes gives us an evolutionary advantage as hunter-gatherers by better enabling us to spot fruits and berries than animals with only two types of cones.

Color blindness is a condition caused by a gene mutation that disables one of these cones. It’s much more common in males, since the genes responsible for detecting the colors red and green are found only on the X chromosome. Because men only have one X copy, if mutations on the X chromosome occur they’re more likely to exhibit altered traits than women who have two X chromosomes.

But what if instead of disabling one of the cones, a mutation increased the range of colors it was able to detect? If the mutation occurred in a man it would likely only result in a slightly shifted color spectrum. But in a woman, if one of her X chromosomes had this mutation and the other one didn’t, it would hypothetically result in her possessing the ability to see an increased range of colors undetectable by most people.

According to a study published in the Journal of Vision, roughly 12% of women have this sort of “super vision,” although scientists have officially labeled the condition tetrachromacy.

Now if you excuse me I got a city to protect with my not so super-human powers while ganging up with The Flash of the central city against the evil meta-humans.

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