January 6, 2011

The Story of a Giant, Written in His DNA

Gina Kolata, NY Times


NYT

He was a giant of a man, 7 feet 7 inches tall, who left his home in Ireland when he was 19 and traveled to London to make his fortune as a freak. There Charles Byrne, known as the Irish Giant, garnered wealth and fame. But, suffering from tuberculosis and an excessive love of gin, he died a few years later, in 1783. A surgeon — John Hunter — bought Mr. Byrne’s corpse, boiled it in acid to remove the flesh, and exhibited the skeleton in his museum in London.

And there the bones remained, studied in 1909 by the renowned American surgeon Harvey Cushing, who removed the top of the skull and pronounced that Mr. Byrne had had a Read Full Article ››


TAGGED: Mutation, Genetics, DNA, Growth Hormone, Tumors, Pituitary Gland, Gigantism

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