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Origin of the "six-inch mummy"
#1
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43489246

The origin of the "six-inch mummy" has been confirmed. The remains, named "Ata", initially found inside a pouch in an abandoned nitrate mining town of La Noria has been confirmed to be the remains of an newborn child with multiple genetic mutations. Due to Ata's unusual skeletal deformities such as its surprisingly small stature, less than expected number of ribs, and a large cone-shaped head, many has speculated it to be of extraterrestrial origin or of a non-human primate. The said speculations were proved to be false when a scientific team analyzed the genome of the remains. Just by doing that, they were able to confirm that the individual is human as genomes are the genetic blueprint for a human, found in the nucleus of the cells. Anyways, in their research, they have found that Ata was a female newborn that had multiple mutations (4 single nucleotide variants or SNVs) in her genes that are associated with dwarfism, scoliosis, dislocations and many more abnormalities in the muscles and skeleton. An oddity that the researchers have found in the remains are the unusual maturation within the bones. Apparently, the body looks more mature despite how small the remains are. This could've also been a mutation that caused the bones to mature and age quickly. Scientists have said that future studies of Ata had the potential to improve our understanding regarding skeletal disorders and the underlying basis of genetics, potentially aiding us in the future. This goes to show that many unusual thing in the world can be explained by science. At first, when I saw the picture, I also thought that the remains were of extraterrestrial origin. After reading the article though, I changed my mind as I can now think of a logical reason as to why Ata turned out that way. It was basically just an unfortunate circumstance. It's interesting to see how a someone's "burden" from the past has the potential to help the future generations. The research done on Ata has certainly proved itself to be beneficial to us, the human race, further expanding our knowledge on the topic of genetics.
#2
This was a very intriguing and insightful read. I actually remember seeing news articles and posts on the internet about ‘Ata’ a few years back. Many people believed that we humans had stumbled upon proof that extraterrestrials had once lived on earth, however, when I saw the images I just assumed that they were fake. Seeing this article now is quite surprising to me. I’ve always just assumed things like these were fake so seeing Ata again, this time with more proof and explanation, is very interesting. It’s unfortunate to read about all the genetic mutations that Ata had. Although I still find it hard to believe, reading this article has cleared up most of my confusion. However, I still am curious as to whether the human lived for a few years after it was born, or if it was a stillborn. It’s amazing to see how much we are able to learn and infer from just a mummified skeleton. I find it very fascinating to know that we can study the bodies of people from the past to learn and better future generations to come. It is also shocking to think about how much we have learned and how much we still do not know about this world.


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