Let’s explain: there are some “lucky” genetic mutations that are effectively able to increase our potential… they might not turn us into superheroes, but they certainly give us above average performance and abilities!
Lightning-fast… or almost!
The gene ATCN3 is also called “The Speed Gene” and it is present in all of us. This can sometimes be subject to a variation that produces an “improved copy” which gives you greater sprinting abilities thanks to the coding for one protein (alpha-actinin-3) that controls the fast contractions of muscle fibre. A 2008 study showed that a copy of this genetic variation is present in 95% of cyclists and 50% of them have two copies of it.
Those who (almost) never sleep
Have you never heard of those politicians, entrepreneurs or scientists who feel completely rested after sleeping for only 4 hours? Well, this ability is most likely due to a genetic variation in the gene hDEC2 , meaning that it can therefore be inherited. It is important to remember, however, that although the perception of fatigue may be less, getting little sleep has very negative effects on your health.
Introducing a new superhero: the Supertaster!
A quarter of the world population can be considered supertasters! These are people who savour every bite with more intensity and as a result they are more inclined to put a lot of sugar in their coffee and tend to avoid very fatty foods. This ability seems to result from a modification of the gene TAS2R38, which encodes your bitter taste receptors.
A mutation of the gene LRP5 is able to make the human skeleton extraordinarily dense, heavy and fracture-proof. This discovery was made possible by some scientists from the Yale School of Medicine who analysed the genetic makeup of a family which is historically free of bone problems.
A heart that does not break!
Cholesterol levels are not only dependent on nutrition, but also have a strong genetic basis. Some mutations of the gene that codes for the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) can help to regulate active cholesterol in a very clear way, thereby reducing the onset of cardiovascular diseases despite some deviations from the rules.
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