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First Person in the World to have an Extra DNA Strand

I accidentally came across a news story yesterday about a young toddler named Alfie who has an extra DNA strand. Basically he has an extra arm on one of his chromosomes.  It’s such a rare condition that doctors don’t even have a name for it. This fascinated me because in one of my classes we’re currently discussing the evolution of humans throughout time.  Could this one child be the beginning of a gradual change among the human race? Maybe. Who knows. But for now Alfie faces numerous health problems because of this extra DNA strand. He has developed slower than most children. For example, he didn’t roll over until he was 18 months old. Doctors still aren’t sure why this extra strand effects him the way it does. He has been rushed tot he hospital multiple times for difficulty breathing. He was born blind, along with other disabilities. He was able to see when he was 3 months old.  Alfie has an older sister named Georgia who is 10. She has no health problems or abnormalities like Alfie has.  Luckily, Alfie was born to very loving parents who adore him.

Two-year-old Alfie

Along with his other problems, Alfie has to take multiple drugs every day help him absorb nutrients because he has difficulty with digestion. On two different times, his parents thought he was dying, but surprised them when he bounced back.

Alfie with his mom, dad, and sister, Georgia.

It’s hard to tell what this means exactly. Doctors don’t know how long Alfie will live or if he will ever live a ‘normal’ life. It could just be a gene mutation or it could be something more. Only time will tell how his condition will affect him in the long-run. It will be interesting to see if more people start being born with this condition or if Alfie is just an isolated case of gene abnormality.


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