As I write this I'm sitting in my mother's living room. My sisters, my
mother, a couple of husbands, forty-three children (well, four, but the
two who are not babies managed to open enough cans of seltzer to
hydrate thirty-nine small people). Right now I'm wishing I had a 23andMe
spit kit for every single one of them, so that we could discern once
and for all whether what's genetic and what's just...Jo being Jo. I'm
the dark horse when it comes to eye color, so I guess I could have been
the genetic loser when it comes to Guitar Hero. Sure. Genetics. That's
why I suck at Guitar Hero. Moving on. Read more...
My biggest concern when I sent off that little vial of spit to the 23andMe
lab didn't have much to do with what I might learn about myself. Most
of the big genetic bugaboos -- Parkinson's, diabetes of both flavors,
breast cancer -- will have already made their familial presence known.
Since I have a pretty good idea of what exactly is wrong with every
single person in my extended family, and it ain't just diabetes, I didn't figure any nasty surprises awaited me in the results of the genetic analysis.
of the more interesting things about producing children who are
biologically yours is that you get to see the combining of your genome
with somebody else's, the tug-of-war for dominance and co-dominance
that provides you, a brown-eyed, brown-haired mother, with two
blue-eyed dark-blonde girls. They have similar coloring thus far, those
girls, but look to my eye pretty different otherwise. Sophia looks like
Sean from the nose up, and maybe a little of me in the smile (final
shape of nose TBD), with curly dark blonde hair like her grandmother
and like my little sister. Blue eyes like everyone in Sean's family,
and my sisters. Skin like skim milk, and that's definitely the Eastern
European side. Daphne's eyes are sort of mid-blue, hair a light brown,
but the shape of her features are 100% me and my own mother. Her skin
looks darker than Sophia's, so maybe she'll tan brown as a berry, as
they used to say of me. (And yes, I check my moles regularly now.) Read more...
Let us now take a break from the more controversial medical aspects of
genotyping to talk about the fun part: ancestry! Well, not that
learning I'm probably lactose intolerant wasn't fun. But it's more fun
for me, unless you happen to share a bathroom with me. Which,
by the way, you're welcome, Sean. And Sophia. Who recently inquired as
to what I had been up to in the bathroom, and when I informed her, told
me, "Well, I didn't smell it." So let's drop another quarter in the therapy jar and move on. Read the rest...
(Quick note to those just tuning in: My 23andMe posts are sponsored by 23andMe.)
Although judging from what I see around Rittenhouse Square and the
pages of fashion mags these days, that opinion may once again be in the
minority. Gross. Anyway.
Familial jokes about heritable body odor
aside, I seem to have done pretty well for myself in the inherited
conditions department. (Excepting the body odor. 23andMe
doesn’t yet provide analysis for what we call the E Gene, for Uncle
Everett, admired far and wide for his eye-wateringly terrible pitstink,
but I hereby offer up my genome to the search.) Read the rest...
it's the result of a teen-hood spent lying on friend's beds or camp
bunks with my legs up on the wall, filling out quiz after quiz in Sassy, YM, and Seventeen,
but my thirst for self-knowledge -- the kind that can only be imparted
by an outside source -- is nigh unquenchable. What kind of girlfriend
am I? What fragrance? My answers were mostly Bs! Tell me, glossy vehicle for cosmetic advertisements, tell me who I am!
So I got this tidy little green box in the mail back in December, all
cleverly packaged with a tube of...um, I’m not sure, but it was waiting
for my spit, and some directions, and a hole to stick the tube in while
I was spitting. Don’t worry, it wasn’t some crazy internet stalker
thing (he prefers used Kleenex in sealed Ziplocs); it was a genetic
testing kit from 23andMe.