23andMe’s genotyping results has provided scientific support for something I’ve been telling people over the years without many believing me… that I can become fat. At 5’2″ and 108 lbs. of a marathon runner’s body, I can’t say I blame them. I don’t look like much at this weight, never mind the 90 lbs. I used to be at before I started distance running 16 years ago. Yet, I can eat a lot, with consequences almost like any over typical person if I don’t run it all off.
This post contains appropriately used inappropriate language that may not be suitable for all readers. You have been forewarned. 😉
When I first started learning about genetics for 23andMe’s genotyping services, I started on their site where there was some material. One of the articles was on variations, and more specifically, the “speed gene” with the scientific name of ACTN3. Being a multiple marathon runner who knew I was more of the fast twitch muscle variety for short bursts of speed rather than endurance running, I wanted to know if I, indeed, had this gene and was going to check on it among the first things I do, unless it were really hard to find. To be more correct, I wanted to know if I had the correct configuration of this gene. Everybody has this gene. It’s just a matter of which configuration it was in to enable the benefit of physical speed and power.
In July, I submitted a saliva sample for genotyping with 23andMe. I saw an opportunity to learn a lot about myself to improve my life, and motivation to finally learn genetics. I also saw getting genotyped as a life changing event of a rare kind. It offered a peek into the future with odds of potential life changing events like on set of major diseases, a look into the past through ancestry information, and a lot of things to deal with in the present like drug profiles. Besides science, there would also be opportunities to write about life, spirituality, humour and all kinds of issues from economics to politics. I’d also have to write it simply enough that most people could understand as the average adult reading level is only about grade nine or ten.
Last week, I began a new adventure in life by sending in a saliva sample for DNA genotyping with a project and company called 23 and Me at 23andme.com. In layman’s term, genotyping is like a high level, or crude, DNA testing on focused on certain critical parts that make up a tiny part of the entire human DNA. From 23 and Me, I will get some health and ancestry information, from likelihood of disease contraction to drug and food reactions to family and race heritage. There will also be lots of other interesting facts like whether you’re genetically predisposed to liking cilantro. 🙂 Continue reading