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Woman with Two Skin Tones, Two Immune Systems Is a Living, Breathing Medical Oddity

Taylor Muhl, a model and singer from California, often says that she is her own twin, and as strange as that sounds, she means it quite literally. The 33-year-old was diagnosed with genetic Chimerism, an extremely rare condition explained as “an organism composed of cells from different zygotes”.

As a child, Taylor was obsessed with twins, constantly asking her mother if she had a twin sibling, and playing twins with her girlfriends, but little did she know that she actually was her own twin. Doctors say that the model absorbed her fraternal twin while in the womb, and parts of its DNA now exist in her body, making her a Chimera, of which there are only 100 known cases in the whole world. But even as a human Chimera, Taylor’s case is a rare and fascinating one, because while most Chimeras only display the symptoms internally or have very small skin marks, Muhl’s stomach is split down the middle into two skin tones.

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Rare Condition Causes Woman to Smell Like Rotten Fish

For 14 years, company director Ellie James has been receiving the same Secret Santa presents at Christmas – bottles of perfume and bars of soap. And when she opens them, she is met with roaring laughter from her colleagues. The presents are mortifying, they break her heart every time because they are a subtle reminder of the horrible genetic disorder that she has to live with. Ellie suffers from a rare condition that leaves her reeking of fish and rotten eggs.

Ellie’s condition might seem amusing or even downright funny, but it’s quite sad when you look at it from her point of view. You might think that she isn’t very good at personal hygiene, but you would be wrong. At one point, she even showered five times a day and scrubbed her skin with dishwashing detergent until it became red and raw. But nothing worked; no matter how much Ellie cleaned herself, the smell kept coming back stronger.

It all began when Ellie turned 30. “At first I didn’t understand what was wrong,” said the 44-year-old from Abingdon, Oxfordshire. “I’d always had impeccable hygiene. The smell was a complete mystery – I wondered if my cat had brought in a mouse and left it to rot. But I slowly realized it was me when strangers began to stare at me while holding their noses. I heard people whispering about me in the office.”

fish

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Rare Brain Disease Makes Woman Fearless

Haunted houses, cockroaches or any kind of bugs for that matter, snakes, you name it, there’s nothing in this world that will freak this woman out.

I can’t even imagine what it would be like to never experience fear, but there is someone out there who really is fearless, due to a rare disorder, called the Urbach-Wiethe disease, which destroyed a part of her brain called the amygdala, where researchers believe the feeling of fear is born. A 44-year-old woman, whose identity hasn’t been revealed for reasons of confidentiality, suffering from this rare disease, has become a case study for researchers at the University of Iowa.

Scientists have tried everything to provoke her fear – spiders, live snakes, tours of haunted houses – but nothing seems to work. As a matter of fact, she has been exposed to very dangerous and scary situations in her day to day life, for example being held at gun point or knife point, or even life threatening domestic violence, but none of it caused her to be afraid. While it may sound like some cool superpower, her lack of fear and response can also be very dangerous for her as it comes with a lack of preservation instinct.

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