On the “Alexandria’s Genesis” “hoax”
Tumblers, Internet denizens of all stripes, let’s start at the very beginning. If you come across an alleged disorder called something as florid as “Alexandria’s Genesis” and think to yourself, “Sounds legit,” you need to recalibrate your horseshit meter.
If we assume your horseshitometer is out of whack and move onto Step 2, or “desiring to share this freshly acquired knowledge with others,” there is absolutely no excuse for failing to perform a quick Google/Wikipedia/WebMD/PubMed search to verify your information.
This infuriates me almost as much as the occasions on which people ask me how to spell something via instant message. You have the whole wide world of the Internet at your disposal. You don’t have to lick your finger and leaf through 2,000 pages of a dusty old tome anymore. Welcome to the world of tomorrow! You have Dictionary.com, or Merriam-Webster, or this handy corrective tool:
Let’s use this as a learning opportunity. While the “symptoms” of this “syndrome” tend toward the absurd, fictional AG most closely resembles nonfictional Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (CAIS)/Testicular Feminization (TFM). AIS results from an androgen receptor defect, which (hence the name) causes insensitivity to androgens (such as testosterone).
Since androgens are critical in fetal development to stimulate growth of the Wolffian ducts (which develop into the male reproductive system), androgen insensitivity leads to the birth of XY females (chromosomally “male,” but female in appearance and, typically, gender identity).
These XY females undergo expected pubertal changes such as bone growth and breast development; however, they do not menstruate (as they never develop a uterus, merely a “blind-ending vagina”). Neither do they develop any pubic or axillary hair, which are the product of androgenic hormones in both males and females. (For the record, XY AIS females also possess nonfunctional, undescended testes, which are often surgically removed from the abdomen to eliminate the potential for testicular cancer.)
XX individuals with AIS develop normally as fertile females, minus any pubic/axillary hair (remember, both estrogens and androgens are present and active in males and females, but in different proportions). However, take note - fertile, XX AIS females menstruate; infertile, XY AIS females do not. It’s difficult to make broad assumptions in medicine, but largely speaking, if you’re not menstruating, you’re not fertile.
That tackles a few of the genetic issues raised by this fictitious disease. I could get into programmed cell death, age-related reduction in telomeres, and telomerase (repair enzymes) in regard to the claim that AG individuals “live 130-170 years.” Or, I could address the concept of “shimmering white skin that resists tanning and burning” (some keywords for your edification: melanin/melanogenesis, Xeroderma pigmentosum, albinism, thymine dimers). Or the somewhat mundane assertion that the “mutation grows stronger generation after generation” (see: paternal inheritance of Huntington’s chorea, CAG repeats).
Or the baffling ability to “resist every disease known to man,” or the hilarious suggestion that AG could be attributable to aliens, or the superpower to never excrete waste/avoid any of the yucky, icky processes that living organisms rely on for survival.
Yes, I could get into all of those things.
But cut me a break, people. That purple eye is such an obvious Photoshop.
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