In all of human history, there have only been 35 cases of a birth condition known as Diprosopus. Basically, it means that a baby is born with duplicated features on its head, resembling conjoined twins. That count went up to 36 last week when conjoined twins were born in Australia with Diprosopus.
In the last 150 years, only 16 cases of Diprosopus have been presented, with the last one being born in India in 2008.
Diprosopus usually occurs when two embryos fuse in the womb, or embryos fail to separate correctly. Interestingly, the malfunctioning protein which causes the separation issues is named SHH, or Sonic Hedge Hog as inspired by the video game character of the same name.
Twins born with Diprosopus were welcomed into the world last week in Australia to a loving family.
Nine News reports that doctors had originally told the babies wouldn’t have the necessary brain development to breathe on their own, however they’ve since defied the odds and are now breathing.
The next challenge is eating. The babies have two mouths, two noses and two brains. The problem arises when you consider they only have one set of lungs and one stomach, which means that the risk of aspirating food into the lungs is problematic.
We wish the family and these brave little twins all the best.