Yes, there are 13 individuals among us who stand above the rest because they have a DNA of a superhuman. That is, a person who has managed to become naturally immune to eight of the most severe debilitating diseases known to man. Just one slight problem, scientists have no idea where any of them are now.
Scientists involved in the study published by Nature Biotechnology have, in fact, tried to contact the 13 individuals they have found to be “superhuman” again, but to no avail. The problem was, they conducted their study without a “recontact clause” stated in the participants’ original consent forms. The super individuals may continue to remain a mystery. Moreover, these 13 may also not be aware of their highly unique DNA composition.
To make this study happen, scientists had to study almost 600,000 individuals while screening 874 genes. They were looking for a special few, individuals who did not develop “severe Mendelian childhood disorders that would normally be expected to cause severe disease before the age of 18 years.”
These diseases include cystic fibrosis, Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, familial dysautonomia, epidermolysis bullosa simplex, Pfeiffer syndrome, autoimmune polyendocrinopathy syndrome, acampomelic campomelic dysplasia and atelosteogenesis. Moreover, experts believe that such diseases manifests themselves so severely it will appear in the health records of anyone suffering from these.
Throughout the study, the scientists screened further and further until they were only left with 13 “resilient individuals.” Should these 13 be found again, it would have incredible implications towards the advancement of treatment for Mendelian diseases. Right now, treatment for such disorders seems to focus more on relieving the patient from symptoms instead of seeking to look for a biological cure.
Unfortunately, finding them now seems highly unlikely.