Skip to comments.Genes of 'Bearded Lady' Revealed
Posted on 05/21/2009 2:59:34 PM PDT by JoeProBono
Julia Pastrana became famous as the "bearded lady" in the mid-1800s. Now, more than 150 years later, scientists have discovered the genetic mutations responsible for her rare condition. The disorder, known as congenital generalized hypertrichosis terminalis (CGHT) with gingival hypertrophy, is characterized by excessive growth of dark hairs all over the body, distorted facial features, and enlarged gums. In some cases, people can have CGHT with normal gums. All of these diseases fall into a group of conditions called congenital generalized hypertrichosis (CGH).
The disease is difficult to study because it is so rare. After analyzing the genomes of members of three Chinese families with CGHT and one person with CGHT and gingival hyperplasia, researchers pinpointed the genetic defects to chromosome 17. In the three families, members had DNA deletions on this chromosome, meaning they were missing pieces in their genes. On the other hand, the individual with enlarged gums had extra pieces of DNA, called DNA duplications, a type of mutation in which sequences of DNA appear multiple times.
These genetic abnormalities affected four to eight genes on chromosome 17. "Although it has long been believed that most people with CGH have some kind of genetic defect, the specific genetic mutations that underlie CGHT, with or without gingival hyperplasia, had not been discovered until now," Xue Zhang, the lead study author from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, said in a statement.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
I’m guessing poor Julia didn’t many calls for dates. Must have been a terrible life.
She married the man who bought her and died giving birth to his child.
The mummified bodies of Pastrana and her baby eventually found their way to Norway, where they were displayed from 1921 until the 1970s, when the Norwegian government shut down the display. The mummies were stolen, recovered, lost, refound and now are in storage at the Oslo Forensic Institute.
Maybe instead of looking for the missing link in rocks they should be looking for them in genes.......
I used to work as a script reader for a few different Hollywood production companies back about 15 years ago and had to read a screenplay about Julia Pastrana written by Claire Noto (I still remember her name). Out of the literally thousands of scripts that I read, this was one of the very best—the handful that I can still vividly recall. The script had a great reputation around Hollywood as well. The problem, as I recall, was that the producer who had the rights tied up was a guy that nobody wanted to work with. And so the script went onto that list of “Great Unproduced Screenplays” that Hollywood types talk about sometimes.
Clair Noto in 1982
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She looks strangely like homo erectus. Hmmm....
My ex nother in law must have been a relative. She had a nice mustache.
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