Genetics Behind Superheroes
By: Bailey Hadden
Is it Possible to Create Superheroes?
While scientists don't know exactly what is in the "Super Soldier Serum" to turn someone into Captain America they do know that certain genes can be turned on to help build muscle mass among other things that could help with muscle degenerative diseases and other diseases.
How Probable is Creating Something that can Regenerate Muscles?
Biologist Brian Kaspar says that him and a group of scientists have been working on a shot that can help people with muscle degeneration to be able to walk. This drug targets Myostatin which is the gene that halts muscle growth. If the drug can eliminate the myostatin then it can help muscles to grow. This experiment has been successful in lab animals and does have a stopping point so the muscles won't just keep growing. So the possibility of having a drug that can do some of what The Super Soldier Serum did to Steve to you is a very high probability.
How does The Hulk Happen?
The gamma rays that Bruce Banner was accidentally exposed to should have killed him but they didn't. How? The gamma rays essentially shatter his DNA but it is able to put itself back together through a process called chromothripsis. When putting back together chromosomes on that large of a scale it can become messy. Where in Captain America his abilities were triggered by vita-rays The Hulk's abilities are thought to come from the hormone produced when he gets angry and that is what causes him to become giant.
How does The Hulk's skin turn green?
In a change like The Hulk's it would cause some incredibly traumatic problems with his body and so it is more likely that him turning green is not necessarily a genetic thing but more of a full body bruise caused by the genetic change when he becomes The Hulk.
While it isn't possible for humans to have the abilities that Spider-Man has science has found a close alternative. Victor Mateevitsti, a graduate student at The University Of Illinois Chicago has created a suit that will warn you of approaching humans. While this might not be something we can modify in our bodies to do science has made a huge leap with this suit that is almost like we did genetically modify ourselves to be like Spider-Man.
While it is possible to have the mutations of the X-Men eventually it is not possible any time soon. In order to have such an extensive change there would have to be a lot of mutations that happened first, then those mutations would have to be passed onto offspring along with mutations from the other parent. If someone wanted to procreate with someone who had the beginning of a mutation then the genetics would be passed on farther but it would take many generations to make this happen. There is just no way that such an extensive mutation could happen in just one generation.
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- Mone, Gregory. "Muscles in a Vial: Can a Single Shot Turn You Into Captain America?" LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 23 July 2011. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.
- Moore, Rose. "The Genetics Behind Superheros, and What The Comics Got RIGHT!" Moviepilot.com. N.p., 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.
- Drake, Nadia. "Spider-Man Physics: How Real Is the Superhero?" Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2016.