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  • As the episode begins, Mulder and Scully investigate two disturbingly similar deaths. In both cases, the father of a young girl has been mysteriously "exsanguinated." (From the Latin: ex- meaning "out of" or "from" and sanguis meaning "blood," according to Merriam-Webster.) Over 75% of the blood in their bodies has been drained away, most likely through their jugular veins. Mulder hypothesizes that a needle placed in a vein or artery could use the pumping action of the heart to drain a person of blood within a matter of minutes. Although exsanguination is an accepted method of euthanizing sedated laboratory animals, thankfully most people don't die in this fashion.

    For more specifics on the approved laboratory exsanguinations, you could look up the National Institutes of Health guide, ...or you could just take my word for it.
    Instead, find out just how much blood the heart actually pumps in an hour (and other neat cardiac facts) at http://www.atlcard.com/pump.html.

  • Upon further investigation of the two exsanguinations, Mulder and Scully find that the daughters of the two men (each on opposite coasts of the United States) are exactly identical. It turns out that the children are actually the results of a supposed secret government genetic engineering program called the Litchfield Experiment. The offspring of this experiment were plagued with mental instabilities due to aneuploidy--they happen to have extra chromosomes. As pointed out by Netpickers, aneuploidy usually causes retardation or worse. (Yep, the X-Files makes mistakes!) One common aneuploidal condition is Down's Syndrome, which arises from a third chromosome in pair 21.

    To get the real scoop on aneuploidy, from North Dakota State University's Professor of Genetics, Dr. Phil McClean, check out http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/instruct/mcclean/plsc431/ chromnumber/number1.htm.
    To learn more about Down's Syndrome, read the Down's Syndrome WWW Page at http://www.nas.com/downsyn/.

  • A sidenote of interest for this episode: the "Litchfield Experiment" was supposed to be a genetic cloning experiment started by Nazi scientists. Although few viewers probably realized it at the time, all the genetic hubbub in this episode was just the beginning; later episodes, such as THE ERLENMEYER FLASK and MEMENTO MORI, and even the movie, dealt with genetics aplenty. (You guessed it! This observation gives me an excuse to drop just a few more links on genetics that you might enjoy...)

    For a glossary of genetics-related terms, look at http://lwaber.swmed.edu/glossar1.htm.
    Plus, if the Human Genome Project page featured in THE ERLENMEYER FLASK file isn't enough for you, it looks like they've got another page at the National Human Genome Research Institute site: http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/HGP/.

  • Unfortunately for Mulder and Scully, the young girls have one more trick up their sleeves. They try to poison the agents with a digitalis derivative made from plants that they grew themselves. Digitalis is the Latin genus of the common foxglove plant, a wildflower that will grow pretty much anywhere (from England to the Azores). While some foxglove chemical extracts, such as digitonin, can be used to treat certain heart conditions, others, like the potent digitoxin, are extremely deadly.

    For almost everything you could possibly want to know about the foxglove plant, check out Botanical.com's reference at http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/foxglo30.html.

 File #:

Basic Plot:
Two girls who look exactly the same (yet come from different families) are actually part of a sinister genetic experiment.

Synopsis URLs:
Synopsis @ Official X-Files Site
Synopsis @ Deep Background
Synopsis @ Cliff Chen's page

Title means:
"Eve" was the designation given to all of the females in the Litchfield Experiment.

End of science file.
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