It’s estimated that every day 37 trillion cells in your body will have trillions of new mutations. If you’re doing something out of the ordinary, like sunbathing or having a drink, then science says you’ll be “mutating” even more. Which is creepy, because that’s a scary word unless you’re watching X-Men.
A million things could go wrong in each of these processes but somehow, most of us are fine and go about our days without even knowing something’s up.
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The Atlantic reports that our human genome can be compared to a finely tuned car, and that many of our everyday mutations are as simple as changing the tint of our car window. For example, humans are constantly shedding their stomach lining, which means that those cells are dividing themselves frequently to replace others. You won’t grow an extra arm out of it or get cancer, because these mutations are not a big deal.
Other mutations, however, are more complex. For example, smokers’ lung cells come in frequent contact with tobacco smoke, causing more mutations than normal. The same happens with your skin, which gets frequently exposed to sunlight.
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According to experts, the older people are, the likelier they are to have cancer because it gives them more time to accumulate the wrong set of mutations. Which is so strange and not reassuring at all. At least human history proves that our bodies kind of know what they’re doing; after thousands of years, we’re still here.