Kiron, A two-headed person born in Bangladesh

By | August 27, 2008

Police have been called in to control the crowds after a two-headed baby was born in Bangladesh. More than 150,000 people – almost double the size of the crowds at Wembley Stadium – have surrounded a hospital after news spread that a baby boy had been born with two heads. Police were called in to control the masses as the baby was moved from one hospital to another for security reasons. Officials feared that unless the baby was moved from the clinic in Bangladesh, where he was born, to a more secure hospital, the crowd would force their way in to gaze at the amazing sight.

If that happened, it was feared, mother and baby would be crushed. In the past babies born with physical abnormalities have been viewed in countries such as Bangladesh and India as living gods. Last night the boy, named Kiron, was under police protection as doctors tried to determine whether he had any future. Kiron was born in a caesarean operation on Monday, weighing 5.5kg, in Keshobpur, 100 miles from the capital, Dhaka.

‘He has one stomach and he is eating normally with his two mouths,’ said gynaecologist Mohamad Abdul Bari.  ‘He has one genital organ and a full set of limbs.’ … Dr Bari said the baby developed from one embryo ‘but there was a developmental anomaly.’ … ‘We fear the crowds are going to grow even bigger as word spreads.

‘People are desperate to have a look at this baby. ‘We had to call the police to control the situation at the clinic and now the police are on 24-hour guard at the hospital.’ – dailymail

Kiron, similar to Abby and Britney Hensel, is two distinct people, Dicephalus conjoined twins … but Krion is even more fused. Amazing.  I hope they make it.  Here is some detail on how and when this happens.

Conjoined twinning, however, only arises when the twinning event occurs at about the primitive streak stage of development, at about 13-14 days after fertilisation in the human, and is exclusively associated with the monoamniotic monochorionic type of placentation. It is believed that the highest incidence of conjoined twinning is encountered in the human. While monozygotic twinning may be induced experimentally following exposure to a variety of agents, the mechanism of induction of spontaneous twinning in the human remains unknown. All agents that are capable of acting as a twinning stimulus are teratogenic, and probably act by interfering with the spindle apparatus. – nih

Would it really be an advantage to have two heads? Could one sleep while the other was awake, for example?

The number of birth defects in India is higher than you think…

The fourth annual meeting of World Alliance of Organisations for the Prevention of Birth Defects (WAOPB) was held here today for the first time outside Europe and America. … The world-level genetic scientists who participated in this meet were unanimous that every year, half a million babies with birth defects are born in India. The burden of genetic diseases is high in all countries but it is especially so in India and other developing countries, they observed. – expressindia

The number is lower in the US.

About 3% of U.S. babies — around 120,000 newborns per year — are born with any of 45 types of birth defects, says the CDC. – medscape

Then again, there are over 1.14 billion people in India and only 303 million in the US. The percentage of birth defects is higher in India, perhaps because it is more polluted or has poorer nutrition.  India’s poor has been encouraged to eat rats in one Indian state, Bihar.

Number of birth defects per year / Number of births per year (2008).

44,640 babies are born in India everyday * 365 = 16,365,600 babies in India/yr

(120,000 / 4,318,000) * 100 = 2.78% USA

(500,000 / 16,365,600) * 100 = 3.06 % India

Is this difference “statistically significant”?

Here is a visual comparison of the populations of US and India:

Here is a comparison showing the actual sizes of the land masses.

The population density is much greater in India.

13 thoughts on “Kiron, A two-headed person born in Bangladesh

  1. Dina

    I thought in both identical twins and conjoined twins developed from a single embryo. The embryo splits and the twins are born with the exact same genetic make-up. In conjoined twins, the embryo splits, but does not split completely.

    Fraternal twins are the twins who grow from two separate embryos.

    I’m not sure why these babies are considered two-headed rather than conjoined. Is one head missing a brain?

    If they both have brains, then I would think they’re conjoined. I think they’ll have to watch the baby/babies develop and see if two personalities emerge.

  2. Joe

    The mistake you made in your calculations was that you divided babies born with abnormalities in one year by the total population of the country rather than the total number of babies born in one year.

  3. Cerebroplasty

    Xeno, CIA World Factbook says India has a land mass of 2.9 million km^2 and USA has a land mass of 9.1 million km^2. USA is over 3 times the size of India.

  4. jonpeltier

    Is the difference between 2.78% and 3.06% statistically significant? Especially given the significant digits in the counts of birth defects.

  5. Xeno Post author

    Doh. Thanks Cerebroplasty! Updated. Jonpeltier, perhaps the US is polluted in different ways but the end result is almost as many birth defects?

  6. robynanne

    Actually, they (the infamous they) are studying embryology to see if that is really how conjoined twins are formed. There is a growing theory that they fuse after fully splitting rather than not splitting completely. This is brought about because (in theory) the embryo cells that divide seek out and grow with other cells like them. If they happened to be too close to the other cells of the other embryo in the same place, the cells could start dividing together and thus fusing after the embryos have split. It’s just a theory though, it hasn’t been proven. Either way, yes, identical twins come from one fertilized embryo that splits. If it splits while it is a blastocyst and before it hatches from the egg to implant in the uterus, they would have one placenta but two individual amniotic membranes. If they split after hatching from the egg and implanting in the uterus, they would have only one amniotic membrane. That is the case where they may develop conjoined twins. I HIGHLY doubt that these babies are anything other than a conjoined twin set and they should probably stop calling them ‘him’.

  7. barok

    Geez, they are just Siamese twins and as a birth defect one of the bodies is missing… that’s all, it’s not such a big deal.

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  9. Billy

    Two-headed people are simply conjoined twins that are so extremely joined that all that is separate is their heads. This is, in actuality, two separate people because there are two separate minds (brains) at work! Instead of sharing two distinct bodies and being joined at the heads or joined at the chest, etc., they share one, single body.

    This phenomenon also occurs in the animal world, where there are two-headed snakes, turtles, cows, cats, pigs, et al. These animals are likewise conjoined twins just as humans. Take the two-headed snake for instance. They share one body but two minds (brains), so, just as a human is not really a two-headed person, but rather two distinct people sharing one body, The two-headed snake is not really a two-headed snake, but rather two snakes that happen to share a single body!

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