The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
Police have been called in to control the crowds after a two-headed baby was born in Bangladesh. More than 150,000 people – almost double the size of the crowds at Wembley Stadium – have surrounded a hospital after news spread that a baby boy had been born with two heads. Police were called in to control the masses as the baby was moved from one hospital to another for security reasons. Officials feared that unless the baby was moved from the clinic in Bangladesh, where he was born, to a more secure hospital, the crowd would force their way in to gaze at the amazing sight.
If that happened, it was feared, mother and baby would be crushed. In the past babies born with physical abnormalities have been viewed in countries such as Bangladesh and India as living gods. Last night the boy, named Kiron, was under police protection as doctors tried to determine whether he had any future. Kiron was born in a caesarean operation on Monday, weighing 5.5kg, in Keshobpur, 100 miles from the capital, Dhaka.
‘He has one stomach and he is eating normally with his two mouths,’ said gynaecologist Mohamad Abdul Bari. ‘He has one genital organ and a full set of limbs.’ … Dr Bari said the baby developed from one embryo ‘but there was a developmental anomaly.’ … ‘We fear the crowds are going to grow even bigger as word spreads.
‘People are desperate to have a look at this baby. ‘We had to call the police to control the situation at the clinic and now the police are on 24-hour guard at the hospital.’ – dailymail
Kiron, similar to Abby and Britney Hensel, is two distinct people, Dicephalus conjoined twins … but Krion is even more fused. Amazing. I hope they make it. Here is some detail on how and when this happens.
Conjoined twinning, however, only arises when the twinning event occurs at about the primitive streak stage of development, at about 13-14 days after fertilisation in the human, and is exclusively associated with the monoamniotic monochorionic type of placentation. It is believed that the highest incidence of conjoined twinning is encountered in the human. While monozygotic twinning may be induced experimentally following exposure to a variety of agents, the mechanism of induction of spontaneous twinning in the human remains unknown. All agents that are capable of acting as a twinning stimulus are teratogenic, and probably act by interfering with the spindle apparatus. – nih
Would it really be an advantage to have two heads? Could one sleep while the other was awake, for example?
The number of birth defects in India is higher than you think…
The fourth annual meeting of World Alliance of Organisations for the Prevention of Birth Defects (WAOPB) was held here today for the first time outside Europe and America. … The world-level genetic scientists who participated in this meet were unanimous that every year, half a million babies with birth defects are born in India. The burden of genetic diseases is high in all countries but it is especially so in India and other developing countries, they observed. – expressindia
The number is lower in the US.
About 3% of U.S. babies — around 120,000 newborns per year — are born with any of 45 types of birth defects, says the CDC. – medscape
Then again, there are over 1.14 billion people in India and only 303 million in the US. The percentage of birth defects is higher in India, perhaps because it is more polluted or has poorer nutrition. India’s poor has been encouraged to eat rats in one Indian state, Bihar.
Number of birth defects per year / Number of births per year (2008).
44,640 babies are born in India everyday * 365 = 16,365,600 babies in India/yr
(120,000 / 4,318,000) * 100 = 2.78% USA
(500,000 / 16,365,600) * 100 = 3.06 % India
Is this difference “statistically significant”?
Here is a visual comparison of the populations of US and India:
Here is a comparison showing the actual sizes of the land masses.
The population density is much greater in India.