Two girls who look exactly the same (yet come from different families) are actually part
of a sinister genetic experiment.
"Eve" was the designation given to all of the females in the Litchfield Experiment.
- 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
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
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
To learn more about Down's Syndrome, read the Down's Syndrome WWW Page at
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
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:
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
This page was last updated: 07/20/98
Go back to nifty-version of site? [ Yes | No ]
Go to a Season (for more info)? 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Menu Options: Latest Files || Help & Info || Awards & Webrings || Other Science Resources
The Truth Is Here...At huah.net_