Author archives

The ‘redhead’ gene

I remember in high school learning about Punnet squares and brown hair being dominant with red hair being recessive. It turns out that it isn’t nearly as simple as having a red hair gene or a brown hair gene. Nor is there a blue eye gene — seems like my teachers were wrong about a …

A gene variant that leads to increased sweets consumption and decreased fat (Patreon post)

Is it possible to eat more sweets and have a decrease in fat? A new study recently published in the journal Cell shows a genetic link to having a sweet tooth, but this sweet tooth gene comes with a nice twist: it causes a slight decreased in fat mass. I may have to dub this the …

Growing up ‘big boned’: MC4R gene and obesity

There are several key players in our body’s regulation of hunger, satiety, and energy expenditure. Leptin and ghrelin are two pivotal hormones involved in our desire to eat. Within that leptin pathway, another key regulator of our body weight is MC4R. This explanation is going to get a bit complicated, so for all of you …

Are you at a higher risk for diabetes? Check your TCFL72 variants

Type-2 diabetes affects about 9% of the US population and millions other world-wide. In those over age 65, one in four people has type-2 diabetes. While the overall numbers are a bit staggering, it is interesting to note that the peak for new cases was in the ’90s with a decrease in cases from 2005-2017.[ref] …

Hacking BDNF for weight loss (Patreon only)

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a fascinating growth hormone that does a lot in our brains. So what does BDNF do? Quite a bit! It is involved in supporting neurons and neuronal growth in the brain; it also plays a role in long-term memory and in obesity. Why focus on obesity when everyone knows that …

Leptin Receptors: Genetics and Hunger

Ever wished your body could just naturally know that it has had enough food and turn off the cravings for donuts or Doritos? Your body is actually supposed to work that way. Leptin, a hormone produced mainly by fat cells, signals to the hypothalamus in the brain that you have enough stored energy. Leptin is …

How to download your AncestryDNA raw data and import it into Excel

A quick tutorial for today on downloading your data from AncestryDNA. Why download your data?  Well, it is YOUR data — genetic data about you that you paid for…  If you download it from AncestryDNA, then you can use that data in a variety of ways. You also don’t have to worry about the company …

Is the nootropic drug modafinil likely to work for you?

Modafinil is being used as a nootropic drug that increases alertness and gives a sense of well being — to some users. Like most drugs, individual results seem to vary.  One reason for the variation is a common genetic variation in the COMT gene. Modafinil is a prescription medication (in the US) for decreasing daytime …

Metabolism, obesity, inflammation… hacking your endocannabinoid system for weight loss (Patrons only)

Cannabis and marijuana may be the first thing that comes to mind when learning about the body’s cannabinoid receptors.  And yes, cannabis acts upon the receptors, activating them and causing the pleasant effects on mood as well as the increase in appetite. But there is a lot more to this system’s role in our body than …

Alzheimer’s and Light at Night: Taking action to prevent this disease (Patrons only)

With the advent of consumer genetic testing from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, etc, it is now easy to know if you are at a higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Those with APOE ε3 are at a normal risk for Alzheimer’s, and those who carry an APOE ε4 allele (or two) are at an increased risk.  …