Grateful for DNA Readings!

A few months ago, I sent my spittle to a company called 23 And Me.  It sounds a bit strange, I know.

Why would I spit (quite a bit) into a little plastic collector, add a splash of some unknown chemical, shake it all up, then send it back across the country to some lab in California?  Well, I’ve always been curious about how accurate my family’s oral recount of our ethnic history could be (and what about genetic predisposition for diseases?) – 23 And Me is the go-to company for public DNA exploration.

Today I got the results . . .

Good news: I don’t have any of the mutations they can read for breast cancer.

Potential bad news: I may have Hemochromatosis (HFE-related), a condition that makes processing iron complicated (thankfully I mostly gave up red meat ages ago!).

There are all kinds of things to explore on their website now that I know my genetic code (D4b2a2) – apparently, I’m 74.29% similar to a Japanese person,

  • Haplogroup: D, a subgroup of M
  • Age: 45,000 years
  • Region: Americas, Asia
  • Populations: Native Americans, Yupik, Chukchi
  • Highlight: People carrying mitochondrial DNA from haplogroup D may have been among the first to reach the tip of South America.

I perused my potential drug response dangers, and found out my Neanderthal composition!  In a few more days, I’ll know even more . . . and once my dad gets on board, I’ll be able to trace my patriarchal line as well.

Science is rad.

The company is, and they were even featured on Oprah – so there’s some credibility for ya!


5 thoughts on “Grateful for DNA Readings!”

  1. Hi Jo!
    I agree, science is rad!
    How did you feel about the ancestry results? There sure was a lot to read in the report eh? Not sure if you saw it, but 23andMe only tests for 3 of the potential Breast and Ovarian cancer genes…so if you have a strong family history of either, it’s worth talking to your doctor about more testing.

    1. Thanks, Carmela! I did see that only three of the genes out of five are tested. Thankfully I don’t appear to be at risk, looking at my family history. It felt exciting to be able to see my code in black and white, and it brought up so many questions about self identification and understanding (see previous comment and response) … I know that at the end of the day, I’m a human being, I’ve had unique experiences, and my genetic makeup is something I view as a kind of medium for exploration. They reflect potentials, possibilities. But the manifestation of those codes into reality … that depends on so much more. Thanks for commenting, Carmela 🙂

  2. I had a similar test done by AncestryDNA. I discovered that my genetic make-up is 80% Sub-Saharan African, 14% European, and 7% East Asian. The East Asian portion was a surprise.

    1. 🙂 It’s so interesting, isn’t it, discovering you “are” something you didn’t realize you were. Thank you for sharing! It makes me think, we have all these ways to define “self,” and yet, how are we to know what truly is and isn’t real? It’s always a relative definition. And then, “Do I relate to this part of me?” “Does this bring me to a broader understanding of my own experience, and the experience of others?” 🙂 Wishing you the best of luck exploring all the tests offered!

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