New York Times über Mutanten-Skelette und Knochen

Die New York Times schreibt über Knochen und Skelette, der Artikel startet mit der extrem faszinierenden Geschichte von Harry Eastlack, der an der extrem seltenen Krankheit Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva litt, in deren Folge jede Verletzung des Körpers von Zellen geheilt wird, die für die Regenerierung des Skeletts zuständig sind. In der Folge verknöcherte sein Körper, und zwar wörtlich! Jason Kottke hat ein Foto seines Skeletts gefunden und das erinnert mich doch sehr an die kranke Schwester aus der Verfilmung von „Friedhof der Kuscheltiere“.

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When Harry Eastlack was 5 years old, he broke his left leg while out playing with his sister. The fracture failed to set properly, and soon his hip and knee had stiffened up as well. Examining the boy, doctors found ominous bony growths on the muscles of his thigh. Within a few years, bony deposits had spread throughout Harry’s body, infiltrating his chest, neck, back and buttocks. Surgeons tried to cut the excess bone away, only to watch it grow back thicker and more invasive than before.

By his mid-20s, his vertebrae had fused together, his torso been thrust rigidly forward and his back muscles replaced with solid bone. Finally, even his jaw locked up, and he died of pneumonia in 1973, just shy of his 40th birthday.

Mr. Eastlack had requested that his skeleton be preserved for scientific research, and today it can be seen at the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians in Philadelphia — or rather, they can be seen. As the developmental biologist Armand Marie Leroi has observed in his book “Mutants,” Mr. Eastlack’s skeleton, with its “extra sheets, struts and pinnacles of bone,” amounts to “that of a 40-year-old man encased in another skeleton, but one that is inchoate and out of control.”

Mr. Eastlack suffered from a rare and poorly understood congenital disease called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, in which cuts, bruises and trauma to the body, no matter where they occur, end up being “repaired” by cells designed for building bone.

Bone, a Masterpiece of Elastic Strength (via Kottke)