conjoined twins

A ten month-old baby girl – called Dominique – born with two spines and four legs traveled from the Ivory Coast to Chicago to cross paths with a team of care givers who would successfully operate on her in a six-hour surgery. The coordinated effort required five surgeons and fifty clinicians.

Concerned over lack of intervention leading to undesirable complications like paralysis, the medical crew reportedly removed the accessory appendages without event and the patient is thriving by all accounts. In this case, the anomaly is the consequence of a parasitic twin. "A parasitic twin is an identical twin that fails to fully separate in development," said...

Last week, the global news outlets reported a case of a baby boy born in India with two penises and four legs. The patient was successfully operated on to remove the anomalous duplications (aka polymelia, extra limbs) and is doing well by all accounts.

Fortunately, these types of abnormal or accessory appendages are a rarity. But, they occur more often than you would imagine. Fetal and embryologic development is a dynamic process with cells migrating in multiple directions along innumerable planes to form organ systems, in particular, in early pregnancy. As a result, varying influences can alter their trajectory albeit of chromosomal, genetic or environmental (e.g. medications,...

This is clearly the week of me being triggered, given I am no fan of the “trigger warning.” Inside-the-box thinking triggers me. Putting arbitrary limitations on human potential triggers me. Labels that attempt to stifle innovation or possibility trigger me.

Dr. Ben Carson, former Republican presidential candidate and pediatric neurosurgeon, was nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Immediately, a firestorm of political pushback ensued.

The following is part of Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement regarding this decision:

“Dr. Ben Carson is a disconcerting and disturbingly unqualified choice to lead a department as complex and consequential as Housing and Urban Development. There is no...