Extremely Rare Phenomena: Conjoined Twins

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Throughout human history, “irregular” human beings have been a source of mesmerization and awe, disgust and fear, and are set apart from “normal” society. A certain abnormality catching the attention of society for centuries is the anomaly of conjoined twins. From the moment they are born, conjoined twins are confronted by a world that does not accept their existence. Conjoined twins face lifelong dilemmas in health, psychology, and identity. Many would prefer to not have the siblings attached at all, but that so-called solution is not as simple as it would appear. Fortunately, society is becoming more informed about these distinctive people; the issues they withstand as well as their unusual disposition to a personal bond many humans may never experience with their twin. Conjoined twins are a result of the close circumstances in the uterus while identical twins are developing in the womb. They start as identical twins, where a fertilized egg separates completely into two eggs, which commence growth as usual. While these two eggs go through the stages of embryonic development, they share a single placenta. This makes it possible for the separated egg to join again. Stem cells, which look for similar cells in order to differentiate into specialized tissues, cannot tell the difference between the cells of one blastocyst or the other when they are so close. Further hindering normal growth is the fact that the developing embryos are genetically identical, meaning the irregular growth can commence without the cells noticing an alien cell occupying the amniotic sac. Thus, the way in which the connected stem cells grow from then on determines the location of the join. There are several ways in which twins can be conjoined. Some attachmen... ... middle of paper ... ...rom college (each with a bachelor of arts degree majoring in education), the girls live with a singular harmony unrepeatable by separate humans. In tasks where they have to make one response, such as when writing an email, the girls can anticipate reactions with little communication between them. When confronted with the choice of separating, the Hensel’s parents responded with uncertainty. The likelihood of both twins surviving this rarely implemented separation is small, and the quality of life may have seriously dwindled. However, seeing their girls thriving together 23 years later eliminates all doubts. The special case of Abby and Brittany demonstrates that separation is not always necessary for “normal” living. These unique sisters live like anyone else, just the way they were born. But even more, they have a bond only accessible by sisters as close as they.

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