Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two-Faced Baby Doing Well: A Case of Craniofacial Duplication

Craniofacial duplication is one of the rarest malformations in humans. This photograph of the face of a 12-month-old child demonstrates duplication of the nose, a large distance between the eyes, and a large asymmetric mouth. Otherwise, the child showed no physical or mental developmental abnormality.

Recently, the parents of an Indian infant girl born with two faces say that she is eating and breathing normally despite having two pairs of eyes and lips and two noses. The baby, who is yet to be named, was born to a factory worker and his wife.

Photo courtesy of: http://radiology.rsnajnls.org/cgi/content/full/226/1/210

Ganesha getting ready to throw his lotus. Basohli miniature, circa 1730. National Museum, New Delhi.

Source: This work is reproduced and described in Martin-Dubost, Paul (1997). Gaņeśa: The Enchanter of the Three Worlds. Mumbai: Project for Indian Cultural Studies. ISBN 81-900184-3-4, p. 73, which says: "Attired in an orange dhoti, his body is enitirely red. On the three points of his tiny crown, budding lotuses have been fixed. Gaṇeśa holds in his two right hands the rosary and a cup filled with three modakas (a fourth substituted by the curving trunk is just about to be tasted). In his two left hands, Gaṇeśa holds a large lotus above and an axe below, with its handle leaning against his shoulder. In the Mudgalapurāṇa (VII, 70), in order to kill the demon of egotism (Mamāsura) who had attacked him, Gaṇeśa Vighnarāja throws his lotus at him. Unable to bear the fragrance of the divine flower, the demon surrenders to Gaṇeśa."

The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years.