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Cafe Scientifique: The Physical Lincoln: Myth vs. Reality, and a Diagnosis

John Sotos

Abraham Lincoln has been a medical mystery for 200 years. Since almost the time of his birth people have been wondering about his unusual looks. Yes, he was tall -- six feet four inches -- but there was more: his arms were too long, he was impossibly skinny, his hands were disproportionately large, and his face was homely and "warty." His bodily functions were a topic of conversation, too: his constipation, his avoidance of alcohol, and his unbelievable parlor tricks.

In this installment of Cafe Scientifique, Dr. John Sotos will review these signs and others showing that Lincoln had a very specific problem in his DNA: a rare hereditary cancer disorder called MEN2B. He will show that Lincoln had less than a year to live when he was shot, that three of Lincoln's four sons had the disease, and that understanding Lincoln the man is impossible without understanding the physical Lincoln.

Thursday, 08/15/19


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