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On the "Alexandria's Genesis" "hoax"
Tumblers, Internet denizens of all stripes, let’s start at the very beginning. If you come across an alleged disorder called something as florid as “Alexandria’s Genesis” and think to yourself, “Sounds legit,” you need to recalibrate your horseshit meter.
If we assume your horseshitometer is out of whack and move onto Step 2, or “desiring to share this freshly acquired knowledge with others,” there is absolutely no excuse for failing to perform a quick Google/Wikipedia/WebMD/PubMed search to verify your information.
This infuriates me almost as much as the occasions on which people ask me how to spell something via instant message. You have the whole wide world of the Internet at your disposal. You don’t have to lick your finger and leaf through 2,000 pages of a dusty old tome anymore. Welcome to the world of tomorrow! You have Dictionary.com, or Merriam-Webster, or this handy corrective tool:
Let’s use this as a learning opportunity. While the “symptoms” of this “syndrome” tend toward the absurd, fictional AG most closely resembles nonfictional Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS)/Testicular Feminization (TFM). AIS results from an androgen receptor defect, which (hence the name) causes insensitivity to androgens (such as testosterone).
Since androgens are critical in fetal development to stimulate growth of the Wolffian ducts (which develop into the male reproductive system), androgen insensitivity leads to the birth of XY females (chromosomally “male,” but female in appearance and, typically, gender identity).
These XY females undergo expected pubertal changes such as bone growth and breast development; however, they do not menstruate (as they never develop a uterus, merely a “blind-ending vagina”). Neither do they develop any pubic or axillary hair, which are the product of androgenic hormones in both males and females. (For the record, XY AIS females also possess nonfunctional, undescended testes, which are often surgically removed from the abdomen to eliminate the potential for testicular cancer.)
XX individuals with AIS develop normally as fertile females, minus any pubic/axillary hair (remember, both estrogens and androgens are present and active in males and females, but in different proportions). However, take note - fertile, XX AIS females menstruate; infertile, XY AIS females do not. It’s difficult to make broad assumptions in medicine, but largely speaking, if you’re not menstruating, you’re not fertile.
That tackles a few of the genetic issues raised by this fictitious disease. I could get into programmed cell death, age-related reduction in telomeres, and telomerase (repair enzymes) in regard to the claim that AG individuals “live 130-170 years.” Or, I could address the concept of “shimmering white skin that resists tanning and burning” (some keywords for your edification: melanin/melanogenesis, Xeroderma pigmentosum, albinism, thymine dimers). Or the somewhat mundane assertion that the “mutation grows stronger generation after generation” (see: paternal inheritance of Huntington’s chorea, CAG repeats).
Or the baffling ability to “resist every disease known to man,” or the hilarious suggestion that AG could be attributable to aliens, or the superpower to never excrete waste/avoid any of the yucky, icky processes that living organisms rely on for survival.
Yes, I could get into all of those things.
But cut me a break, people. That purple eye is such an obvious Photoshop.
CAN PEOPLE PLEASE STOP BELIEVING EVERY LITTLE THING ONLINE LIKE NOT EVERYTHING ON TUMBLR IS TRUE AND SOME THINGS ARE SO BLATENTLY BULLSHIT THAT IS BAFFLES ME THAT PEOPLE DON’T SECOND GUESS IT EVEN IN THE SLIGHTEST. I mean seriously? No body hair? No periods but still being fertile? At that point wouldn’t you do the rational thing and GOOGLE that shit? Apparently not because half of tumblr believes in Alexandria’s Genesis.
The first characteristic of people with “Alexandria’s Genesis” is their eye color. When someone is born with this genetic mutation, the eyes are either blue or gray at birth. At six months, the eyes begin their transformation from the original color to purple. This process is completed by the person’s first birthday. A second process, where the eye color deepens, starts as soon as the first is completed. This slow process continues until the onset of puberty. By then, the eye will have become a dark purple, a deep purple, a royal purple, or a violet-blue color, and will be that color for the rest of their time. These changes do not affect the person’s eyesight, though. If anything, the eyesight is, and remains until death, 20/20.
Speaking of puberty, those who have the mutation will never grow any facial, body, pubic, or anal hair during this stage of growth. In fact, the only hair they will ever have is what is on their heads, in their ears and nose, their eyebrows, and their eyelashes. Women also have an added bonus beyond never having to shave: never buying tampons or pads. It turns out that females born with “Alexandria’s Genesis” never menstruate in their lives. They are fertile, however, and can go through the same things that women without the mutation can go through every month. Beyond these differences, those with the mutation go through puberty as normally as everyone else does.
Below are all of the characteristics of “Alexandria’s Genesis.”
- Clear, silver-like purple eyes (after 1st birthday; deepen in color until onset of puberty)
- No facial or body hair growth beyond what was already there at birth
- Dark brown or black hair
- Shimmering white skin that resist tanning and burning
- Lack of menstruation cycle (in women)
- Highly evolved immune system (has been known to resist every disease known to man so far)
- Appear 5-20 years younger (after the age of 21, the aging process slows down greatly; it stops completely between the ages of 40-50)
- Long life span (ranges from 130-170 years)
- Perfect vision
- Never overweight (their metabolism prevents the gaining of too much fat [a.k.a., partial lipodystophy])
- Well-developed and proportioned bodies
- Found mainly in women of Euro-American descent
- Women are the primary carriers of the mutation
- Children born from mothers with the mutation are also carriers
- Mutation remains active generation after generation
- Mutation grows stronger generation after generation
Alexandria's Genesis: Is it Real?
The existence of a genetic disorder called “Alexandria’s genesis” has been the subject of much debate. It seems to be an urban legend, since no one with the disorder exists today (at least that the scientific community knows about), but it also seems that it is a disorder that could very well exist, or at least have existed in the past.
The “symptoms” of those who have Alexandria’s genesis are shimmering, white skin that resists tanning or burning; no body hair other than that which they are born with; purple-colored eyes; a slowing down and even stopping of the aging process; a life span of up to 170 years; their bodies produce little or no waste; their bodies are well-developed; their immune systems are incredibly strong, and resist every disease known to man; they have perfect vision; and they never gain weight. In other words, they’re really “super-human”.
It’s great how I just spent…hmm, half an hour to forty-five minutes typing that essay (on why Alexandria’s Genesis is false) and nobody’s going to read it.
But I had to do it.
I’m not gonna let a bunch of BS fly around Tumblr and watch everyone believe it. Especially when it’s about some made up genetic mutation…I’m a genetics nerd, ok?