12th edition of my human genetics textbook


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Glenn Nichols, surrounded by his hospice team. The author is in yellow.

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Genetic Linkage

How Freddie Mercury Got His Voice: It Wasn’t His Teeth

November 16, 2018

Tags: Freddie Mercury

Shortly into the film Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury attributes his magnificent voice to four extra incisors: “extra teeth equals extra range.”

The dental endowment had gradually pushed his front teeth forward, causing a great deal of teasing (“Bucky”) when Freddie was a boy and teen, then known as Farrokh Bulsara. He hid them behind his hand and, later on, a mustache. But it never squelched his singing.

The Internet is overflowing with accounts of the transplendent Rami Malek preparing for his role as the four-octave frontman by slipping on a pair of customized prosthetic upper teeth to practice speaking and singing.

While Freddie’s extra teeth were unlikely due to a specific genetic disorder, at least one group of researchers has suggested an alternate biological explanation.

To continue reading go to Genetic Literacy Project, where this article first appeared.

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