Ozzy’s genome reveals how he survived 40 years of drug abuse that should have killed him. Researchers have dubbed him a "medical miracle".
Say what you must about Ozzy Osbourne, but one fact remains unchanged — the man's a survivor! The lead singer of Black Sabbath and star of the reality TV show The Osbournes has had an illustrious career to say the least. After over four decades of living the rock-n-roll lifestyle, soaked in booze, strung out on cocaine, turning up on stage tripping on LSD and even famously biting the head off of a live bat, there’s no stopping Ozzy!
The fact that Ozzy is still alive and kicking makes no logical sense and can even be called a miracle! It even got scientists and researchers intrigued enough to perform a thorough study of Ozzy’s genes to see if his DNA could provide the answer, and the results are interesting to say the least.
There’s a popular joke that at the end of the world, when everything else has been wiped away, all that’s going to be left is a cockroach and Ozzy Osbourne! The joke is not unwarranted. Ozzy has done everything there is to do.
You name it, he’s done it. No matter how strange it sounds. While touring with Black Sabbath, he was famous for wrecking hotel rooms while drowning in drugs and alcohol. He used to get cereal boxes full of cocaine to recording sessions at the studio. He even had a pet 'shoe' on a string that he would take for walks!
Of course, we all know about the infamous incident in 1982 when someone threw a live bat on stage and Ozzy promptly bit its head off! The CDC states that someone in the world dies of rabies every nine minutes. Yet here the man is, still going strong.
The same year, Ozzy’s then guitarist Randy Rhodes died in a horrifying plane crash after clipping the tour bus during a midnight joy ride in the aircraft. Ozzy was in the bus while this happened and walked out almost unscathed. In 2003, he wasn’t as lucky. After crashing an ATP, Ozzy was hospitalized comatose, with several broken bones and internal injuries.
It was high time that science intervened and got to the bottom of Ozzy’s never-say-die attitude! Ozzy’s blood sample was sent to Knome Inc. in Cambridge, England for genome analysis. The results were stunning.
Apparently, the 69-year-old singer has about 300,000 unique variants in his genome as well as DNA segments inherited from Neanderthals, the now extinct ancestor of the modern Homo sapien. But this is not that rare. What really raises eyebrows are his genes involved in metabolizing drugs and alcohol.
Ozzy is 6.13 times more likely than the average person to have alcohol dependency or alcohol cravings; 1.31 times more likely to have a cocaine addiction; and 2.6 times more likely to have hallucinations caused by cannabis use.
So that explains his affinity for altered states of consciousness, but what about his resilience? Interestingly, it turns out that Ozzy’s ADH4 gene (which is responsible for breaking down alcohol) is able to break down alcohol much quicker than the average person, which means it takes a lot more than usual to get Ozzy buzzed.
Ozzy also has two versions of the COMT gene (Catechol-O-methyltransferase)—an enzyme that deteriorates dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Because of this, in spite of his weakness for booze and drugs, other functions such as awareness, planning, organization, self-awareness are on maximum overdrive!
Reminiscing his over-the-top history with drug abuse and alcoholism, Ozzy says, “I should’ve died a thousands times but I didn’t.” So there you have it. The man is genetically built like a tank. It goes without saying at this point that you should not try the Ozzy lifestyle at home. Not everyone is cut out for it!
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