Category «Interesting»

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 …

Oxytocin Levels: Genetics of the Love Hormone

Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus region of the brain.  Often called the “love hormone”, it is involved in parents bonding with their baby, recognition of other’s emotions, and overall social involvement. Oxytocin is produced at a high level during childbirth, relaxing the cervix and causing contractions. Interestingly, it also crosses the placenta and …

Ancestry.com vs 23andMe: Comparing the raw data files

I recently picked up an AncestryDNA kit out of curiosity to find out how well the data matched up to the 23andMe test that I did a few years ago.  Quick answer: It matched up better than I expected. First, a couple of caveats:   I’m not a genealogy expert and was not comparing the …

Biohacks – Experiments and Optimizations Based on My Genetics

After three years of digging into genetics and learning all that I can about my genes, I wanted to get a little personal and share a few things that have worked for me. I would also love to hear back from all of you.  Leave a comment below or comment on the Facebook page if …

Intriguing Genes: Do you taste what I taste?

Ever wonder why some people don’t like Brussel sprouts or strong, dark coffee?  I love a good, dark roast, cup of coffee, and Brussel sprouts and cabbage taste great.  It turns out that I can’t taste the bitter compound in them, but the majority of people can. On the other hand, I have yet to find a …

Lactose Intolerance: The genetics of not producing lactase

Are you a milk drinker? Does pouring a cold glass of milk sounds good? Your genes control whether you are likely to produce lactase as an adult, and it is easy to check your 23andMe or other genetic data to see if you are likely to enjoy a big glass of milk. Personally, I had always …

Intriguing Genes: Differences in how we smell things

Learning about genetics has given me a new perspective on so many different subjects.  For example, seeing first-hand how much of a difference the right vitamins and minerals make in a person’s mood due to changes in their neurotransmitter balance has made me much more understanding.  Cut me off in traffic?  Instead of just assuming you …

Ear wax and body odor – it’s genetic

The ABCC11 gene determines both the type of earwax a person has and their armpit odor. A change in a single base in the code for this gene can cause the gene not to function. People with a functioning ABCC11 gene have wet earwax and body odor, while those with the gene variant causing loss of …

How Well Do You Convert Beta-Carotene to Vitamin A?

Everyone knows that carrots and sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A, right? Well…  it turns out it isn’t that straightforward for everyone. The beta-carotene in orange fruits and vegetables has to be converted into the form of vitamin A that our bodies can use, and genetics plays a huge role in how well …