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 23andme.com, and they were even featured on Oprah – so there’s some credibility for ya!