Human Mutants

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 03 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1383
  1. Graham Easton, assistant editor (
  1. BMJ

    Channel 4, Thursdays at 9 pm from 3 to 17 June

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    Full marks for the attention grabbing title. But I suspect that anyone looking forward to a Victorian style freak show would have been frustrated. Admittedly, Human Mutants does have most of the key ingredients—mysterious lighting, a spooky ringmaster, giants, dwarves, and babies in bottles. But for the voyeur craning his or her neck in the front row, all the serious science and compassion would get in the way. This is about how deformity reveals normality, and how we are all mutants—it's just that some of us are more mutant than others.

    Our ringmaster, self confessed mutant Armand Leroi, is in fact a reader in evolutionary developmental biology at Imperial College, London. His series champions the contribution that the study of mutation has made to science's understanding of human development and evolution. In the first programme, “The Mystery of Growth,” he showed us how we grow and what happens when that complex growth …

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