We're all mutants!

Our heroic moderator Antinous spotted this thrilling headline from BBC News. Now, if we were all just Happy Mutants!


  1. And finding this tiny number of mutations was more difficult than finding an ant’s egg in an emperor’s rice store.

    Nice localized metaphor :)

    1. I used to feel special because I have five nipples and can put my thumb on the back of my hand. Now everybody’s in on it.

  2. There goes all the conflict in the X-men franchise. I knew this Disney acquisition signaled bad times for Marvel.

  3. See?
    It used to be that “mutants” were only elitist Americans living in a Mansion near NYC. Now, thanks to the Revolution, mutantcy has democratized and children feel empowered. Now, thank to El Gobierno Popular we are all mutants!

  4. i’ll throw my anthro minor on the table and posit that everyone sitting around, even those of us chain smoking and gorging on chips, are products of successful mutation at some point, still neat stuff. I forget where I heard it, (mebbe podcst from naked scientists) that a brit scientist was trying to affect marker chromosomes to remake dinosaur like attributes in the common chicken. I believe the phrase dinocluck or chickosaur were being bandied. Sounded neat… chickens with tails and scales… thats my kind of tasty mutant :)

  5. Good lord. Every high-school biology teacher worth their diploma knows that every living thing beyond a single-celled micro-organism (and even some of those) are mutants. Mutation is what causes evolution.

    The title may as well read “We’re all evolved creatures”.

    1. That’s not what the article says. Everyone has individual, personal, dewy-fresh mutations, not just whatever is in the evolutionary luggage rack. We have spontaneous mutations not found in our parents.

  6. I dunno. I’m pretty happy.

    Reminds me of the Monty Python bit where Brian tells a crowd, “You are all individuals,” the crowd parrots what he says, except for one who says, “I”m not!”

    You are all mutants.

  7. This is why incest is a really bad idea. Most mutations are recessive: you can still make the vital protein from the good copy you got from one of your parents. But if both of your parents are close relatives, and they both have the same mutation (quite likely if they are siblings), you’re hosed.

    1. The last three are only noticeable to the trained eye. Most people would just assume that they’re moles.

  8. #2, Antinous:

    I used to feel special because I have five nipples and can put my thumb on the back of my hand. Now everybody’s in on it.

    You’re only special if you’ve got a Beighton score of 4 or more.

  9. @ #13 Even the bit about each individual having unique spontaneous mutations is pretty basic genetics/evolutionary bio. Honestly the only thing that might be new is the number they site (although it sounds familiar from junior high science). But at least the news are sensationalizing that bolsters evolution rather than the normal bunk.

  10. Agreed Ryuthrowsstuff: this is about quantification of the previously known.
    More about specification, less about speciation.

  11. Disappointed with the number of Devo references. I thought certainly, there would be more.

    “Betcha didn’t know that was such a sad song…”

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