Could We Clone Ourselves?

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Human cloning has been a hot topic since the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, was cloned in 1996. And while no human clones have been made – that we know of – the research into cloning is saving lives through stem cell therapy.

The Most Inbred People Of All Time | Random Thursday

From the most powerful royalty in history to an uncontacted village in New York State, we’re talking about some of the most inbred people of all time.

The Blue Fugates of Kentucky were an isolated group of settlers who, through a rare recessive gene, developed blue skin. Due to their blue skin and their isolated location, they began to inbreed, eventually becoming something of a local legend – the blue hillbillies that live in the woods – until they reappeared in the 1960s.

Allentown, New York, is a village in New York State that was cut off from the rest of society after a dam flooded the valley where they lived. They call their community The Hollow, but outsiders call it Allentown because almost everybody there is from the same family.

The Habsburgs of Europe were one of the most powerful families in history, ruling over the Holy Roman Empire in Eastern Europe until the early 20th century. But one segment of the Habsburgs in Spain, known as the Spanish Habsburgs, participated in incest and inbreeding for so long that they developed The Habsburg Jaw – a genetic deformity that got so bad that many could barely speak. It was Charles II of Spain that finally put an end to this practice because he was so inbred that he couldn’t reproduce.

And the Egyptian royal family of ancient Egypt practiced inbreeding for over a thousand years because they believed that the only person who could mate with a pharaoh was someone else from their family – they were living gods after all. By the time King Tutankhamen was born, their lineage was so ruined that he had multiple genetic deformities and died at only 18.

The Silent Twins: A Journey Into Madness | Random Thursday

In this special Halloween video, we examine June and Jennifer Gibbons, twin girls who became known as the “Silent Twins” due to the fact that they never spoke except to each other, and even then, they did so in their own language nobody else could understand.

As they grew older, they became obsessed with their twinhood, and their obsession consumed them, leading them into violence and crime.

The twins were trapped in their relationship. They couldn’t be together and they couldn’t function apart. They came to believe that the only way either of them would be happy was for one of them to die.

Do You Have Free Will? (Hint: Not Really)

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Do you make your own decisions? Science says maybe not. Not really, anyway.

Starting in the 1950s, neuroscientists turned to split brain surgery in an effort to cure epileptics with uncontrollable seizures. Split brain surgery cut the corpus callosum, a band of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain.

By doing so, they discovered some amazing side effects that basically suggest that there are subconscious modules in your brain that make decisions without your conscious awareness, and an interpreter module in your brain that translates those decisions to your conscious brain.

These tests, performed by Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga, have brought up endless questions about how we make our decisions, who’s actually in charge in our brain, and whether we have actual free will.

10 Famous Human Oddities

There was a time when traveling circuses and freak shows were the preeminent form of entertainment of the day. Some people made a great living as human oddities, showing off their natural (and unnatural) bodies. Here are 10 of the most famous.

NASA’s Eagleworks Lab: Pushing The Boundaries Of Physics

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If we’re ever going to reach other star systems, we need a new type of revolutionary propulsion system. NASA’s Eagleworks Lab is exploring the fringes of physics to find exactly that.