Man's IQ goes from 70 to 185

By Whitney McDonnell

How Did It Happen?

A 32-year-old man named Charlie Gordon had an IQ of 70 points. I usually never saw him around the humble bakery he works in, but today, I notice something different. He seems more attentive, more alert....What is it about him? His social skills seem to have improved over the past weeks. When I call him over, he hurries to me and readily holds a pencil and pad in hand, ready to take my order. I tell him I'll have nothing more, and instead ask him about his past week. He begins to tell me about events in his life from 2 weeks ago, straining to remember.

"Yes, I was out sick before. Feeling better now. Really incredible, isn't it, how the immune system works?"

At first, I am shocked by his new disposition. I overcome it and continue to ask questions.

"Charlie, if you don't mind my asking, what -- what changed the past couple weeks?"

He looks around, then leans in.

"Well, if you really want to know..."

He goes on to explain that he had a surgery 2 weeks ago on his brain -- a mirror of the same surgery performed on a mere mouse back at the lab named Algernon. It raised his IQ from 70 points to 100 points in a couple days. He explains why he was a good candidate.

"Even for someone with such low intelligence, I did have a will to succeed," he remarks thoughtfully. "I presume that's why Professor Nemur and Dr. Strauss considered me for the surgery. Ever since I was little, my mother always wanted me to do well."

He showed me progress reports from before the surgery, "progris riport 1 martch 3: Dr Strauss says I shoud rite down what I think and remembir and evrey thing that happins to me from now on. I dont no why but he says its importint so they will see if they can use me."

His grammar has greatly improved and it's visible from the outside. In a more recent progress report, he writes, "April 18 -- I found out what a Rorschach is. It's the test I took with the inkblots, the one I took before the operation."

It shows his dramatic progress; before the surgery, he didn't even know what the test was. He is now familiar with the test and even shakes his head at his past self.

"I suppose I wasn't to blame," he chuckles, "but it was surprising to see the test again when I before wondered what a "Rorschach" even was."

However, he seems excited for what is to come.

"At this point, I can only gain knowledge!" he exclaims.

What About the Mouse?

Charlie is reluctant to explain more about the surgery.

"I'm not quite certain how everything worked during the operation," he explains humbly. "That's been kept under wraps."

When I inquire further, he seems to shut down.

"The information I've gathered isn't very reliable. Wouldn't want to risk it, especially with the press. However, Algernon's intelligence is now up to three times higher than the average mouse's. He can solve complex puzzles and mazes in remarkable time."

"This curious little mouse seems to have had a lot of impact on the experiment. Have you noticed any likenesses between you two?"

"In fact, I have," he chuckles. "Again, the motivation. I've always wanted to have a higher IQ, to excel. It's truly exciting to see my progress. I'm proud."

Said Dr. Strauss in a later interview, "Yes, Charlie's progress is noteworthy. In comparison to Algernon, he's progressing a little slower, but that's just one of the discoveries we've found in the differences between human and mouse. Charlie is not unlike a mouse."

(Professor Nemur was not available for comment.)

All in all, it seems like this promising man can only progress one way: up.

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