Life Always Surprises, Won’t Stay in Your Categories #biology #genetics #poem #poetry

Yoruba twin statues

The Yoruba have the highest twinning rate in the world, as reflected in this art, but still no sesquizygotic twins as far as western science knows.

Sesqui – zygotic
Makes babies most exotic.
Rarest people you could meet,
Their genes are quite quixotic.

Buckets you put words in
Are only there as stand-ins.
Cling to them
and fool yourself,
The word is not the thing.

Nature’s not confined
By what is in your mind.
When shadows dance in Plato’s cave,
Escape the chains that bind.

You’ll never force reality
Into the form you want to see.
The world is bigger,
stranger,
more
Than claimed by you and me.

Kate Rauner

We humans are so invested in language, we sometimes forget that words are imperfect representations of reality. Like the words “male” and “female.”

The twins in Australia are 4 years old now… the second known case [of] ‘sesquizygotic twins’: not identical, but not fraternal either. They’re somewhere in between.

The twins are actually chimeras, meaning they both have a mix of XX and XY cells in their body, but in different proportions. The one who looks like a boy has an XX:XY mix of 47:53; the girl has a mix of 90:10. In the 2007 case [the first reported occurence], one of the twins actually had ambiguous genitalia, which is what tipped doctors off to something previously unknown about the twins. The Atlantic