Question: Do you think it is possible for humans to have super power,through a change in human DNA, a disease or something else.

  1. I’d love to answer yes to this question, because I love comics and superhero movies, but the truth is that the answer is probably ‘no’. No single mutation is likely to have that big an effect on human ability or the human body (very few traits in the body are controlled by a single gene), and even if it did, it would almost certainly break a lot of other things badly enough in the human genetic program that the human involved would likely die (probably before being born).


  2. Yes! Probably not like flying or X-ray vision or anything like you see in X-Men, but we can already change a person by injection DNA. That’s been the issue with the olympics, they reckon some people are already using gene therapy to run faster or be stronger than their competitors. Maybe good for a discussion in the class room!

    You can inject people with a virus that carries a piece of DNA with a special gene in it. For example, you can have a gene that produces a protein that increases muscle strength or muscle mass, or something that helps you produce more energy in your cells. You would not be able to test it like they do with drug/doping testing at the olympics but it would give someone an unfair advantage.



  1. While gene therapy, as Natasha describes, is possible, it is currently only achievable at very high risk to recipients (and thus not currently performed anywhere in the world). The only instance in which it has been used in humans was to treat Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID, also known as “bubble-boy disease”) in a small trial in the UK. This trial cured the SCID disease, but led to almost all of the recipients developing leukemia, which is (perhaps arguably) a more severe disease. This happened because the injected DNA has to insert into the recipient’s normal DNA, and when it did so in these patients it inserted next to a normal gene and activated it, which caused the leukemia.

    Gene therapy is still a potential therapeutic option for serious diseases, but the method for inserting the necessary DNA needs to be improved and different methods are under investigation. For more information on gene therapy I recommend the links at