Monday, November 17, 2003

Doctors have scanned the spine of a stage contortionist in a bid to work out why she is so flexible.
The results suggest both genes and intensive training enable the unusual body movements of such performers.

The researchers, led by Dr Richard Wiseman, found no evidence of deformed bone structures that might contribute - simply extra-stretchy ligaments.

The findings are being presented to mark the launch of the Dana Centre, a new public venue at London's Science Museum this week.

Contortionist Delia agreed to take part in the study and be scanned performing some impossible-looking manoeuvres whilst inside an MRI scanner.

This allowed doctors a clear view of her spine "in extremis" - allowing them to spot any differences between her and the average human.

Ow, OW, OW!

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