Sunday, September 15, 2013

23 and me...

About a month ago I spit into a test tube about a dozen times and then sent it to a lab in California and now I have more information than I needed about my DNA.

Prior to the test, I would have bet my house that most of my DNA came from the British Isles. However, imagine my surprise, only 11.1% of who I am in the genome is from Great Britain and Ireland. I am 99.8% European (a minuscule amount of Central European--Polish--and a less amount of Eastern African.) The rest is 'unassigned'.

The great majority of my gene type is from, amazingly, northern Europe (Scandinavia, to be precise). There is a map showing where my gene pool was 500 years ago--mostly in Great Britain and Sweden and Norway and a tiny bit in Denmark. Then, I suppose, all those Norsemen who invaded England began to show up in the DNA I wear.

(I've tried to decide what DNA is all about and concluded that I'll talk about 'wearing' it, like it was my clothes and shoes and socks and hat.)

I've been reading Scandinavian writers for several years and tend to love them (though pronouncing the names is troubling). I've always loved Irish music and British writers and thought that said something about 'where I'm from'. This whole Northern European thing has me thinking I have an affinity for Scandinavian writers for a reason. But who knows?

I'm sure I'll be sharing more and more with you about my DNA analysis. I'm fascinated by the plethora of information they've sent me. Bern did it too. We've already decided that Christmas presents for those close to us and family will be 23andme membership (though they'll have to spit in a test tube--not the most pleasant of undertakings....

One more thing this post: the two diseases I fear most are Alzheimer's and Parkinson's--and, according to my DNA, I am below the average possibilities of both! I do have an above average genetic chance of having asthma (which I have) and prostate cancer (which I've had)--so no surprises there.

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.