10 Amazing Truths About Our DNA
The global DNA ancestry market is booming, yet few people know and understand the true extent of what we can find out about ourselves through our DNA. We've put together some less commonly known facts about our DNA.
Our DNA shows that we are all connected to each other
DNA shows, categorically, that we are all made up of all of us. DNA testing technology now exists to allow us to see where in the word a person descends from and to trace the single point in history where we share a common ancestor. So the person you sit next to on the bus, your postman, or even the bar man you met on last year’s holiday will have a shared ancestor. We effectively all share one (very big) family tree.
We can discover which conditions or diseases we are most susceptible to
Through looking at genetics, scientists can understand which lifestyle factors can make our genes active at any one time through advances in research called EpiGenetics.
Our DNA shows how your body responds to different medications
Your DNA can affect how your body processes and responds to certain medications. This means that for some people, no matter how much codeine you take, it will not affect you. The same is said for paracetamol; if you find that you’re using this medicine and your headache isn’t going away, this could be why.
Through your DNA you could connect with relatives you never knew existed
As many people share strands of DNA, you can find relatives half way around the world and start a conversation with them. From distant cousins to a long-lost relatives, by finding out who you share DNA with, you could be united family members near and far.
Certain food and drinks can affect us differently based on our DNA
From our DNA, scientists can now assess metabolism and how your body processes certain food groups. This includes how well we metabolise sugar, caffeine, and alcohol as a consequence of our distinct DNA.
You can discover and solve mysteries of the past, from ancient kingdoms to royal blood lines
As everybody is ultimately connected through their DNA, you could look back at your ancestral timeline and find out that you’ve descended from royalty or other truly fascinating facts about your ancestors.
Your DNA can explain why you sneeze when exposed to light
This trait is genetic and called Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Outburst Syndrome also known as ACHOO.
Your DNA can tell you whether or not you are a carrier for certain diseases
Knowing this can help you make certain lifestyle choices, like taking particular supplements or knowing which medications to take or immunisations to have. For example, carriers of sickle cell anaemia or β-thalassaemia alleles are immune to malaria.
Even identical twins can be told apart through their DNA
Every single person's DNA is different even if they are truly identical. For example, through DNA testing you could tell which identical twin is the father of a baby. This is because a tiny difference in the whole genome allows us to differentiate them.
Some people have two sets of DNA
These people are known as chimera. Double DNA is usually a result of non-identical twins merging in the womb. So, a chimera’s skin and hair can have totally different DNA.