Monday, February 22, 2010

KEVIN GEEKS OUT - Mutants #3

Me explaining hereditary mutations in Part 1 of my lecture.
Photo by the great Matthew Glasson.

Part 3

From my Cinematologist lecture at Kevin Geeks Out: Visions Of The Future

Where were we? Oh, yes! In my last installment I had talked about inherited mutations, as documented above. Now we're on to acquired mutations....

Acquired mutations occur in the DNA of individual cells at some time during a person’s life.

Blonsky and Banner were not born this way, they were exposed to gamma radiation in adulthood.

Blonsky and Banner from The Incredible Hulk.

Notice Blonsky’s exaggerated cervical spinous processes.

Acquired mutations cannot be inherited. For example, skin cancer is caused by UV rays mutating genes in the skin, but if you have skin cancer lesions when you get pregnant, your baby isn’t born with skin cancer, he has to acquire it himself.


However, in order for the Hulk to pass on a genetic mutation, the sperm in his testicles would also have to be dosed with Gamma radiation. If Bruce Banner had held a lead apron over his testicles, his children would most likely be normal. If he wasn’t wearing an apron it is still impossible to predict HOW this altered genetic information will be expressed.

How will he express himself?

Additionally, having sex in either of his forms would not affect genetic expression.

Did he cover his testicles?

In 2084 When we set up colonies on Mars, mutation will advance by leaps and bounds. Thanks to miracles in modern science, acquired mutations due to inadequate radiation protection will become inheritable and PREDICTABLE, as demonstrated in the movie, Total Recall.

This girl has inherited a mutation

that her mother acquired!

However, according to films that afford us a vision of the future, disfigured mutants will not be valued by mainstream populations as deserving of respect. Additionally, reproductive success and the passing on genetic information requires that you find someone willing to have sex with you. Finding a reproductive partner is not a guarantee. It might be harder for some mutants...

If a woman married George/Kuato,

would she be guilty of polygamy?

... than for others!

This mutation may be successfully passed

along to future generations.

Which mutant species will dominate the planet? Which mutagens will be the downfall of humankind? What are the chances of human survival in the future? These are difficult questions. But if there is anything to be learned by scientific investigation it is this: In the future, as now…

Love will find a way!

Thus ends my Kevin Geeks Out lecture. Next time we plumb the viral depths of I Am Legend!

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