In which I am a unique and special mutant - Tactical Ninja
Apr. 11th, 2012
10:23 am - In which I am a unique and special mutant
So it turns out Squishy is actually Squishies, and the reason that Squishies let me know of their existence through pain is that they are cysts of the fibrous kind, which apparently respond to hormonal changes as you go through your cycle. It's relatively normal for women my age to have a few of these, but mine are all having a group hug at 8 o'clock apparently, which is why they make a noticeable lump.
Prognosis: nothing much. If it changes let them know. Having spent many years getting close up views of sheeps' udders, I have some idea of the variations that can take place before anything becomes a problem, eh?
So, sweet. No need to do anything further or get any grey hairs over it. Keep up the monthly breast check (I hope you do yours too folks - men included) and keep on keeping on.
Nearly a year ago I spat in a test tube and sent off my genes for sequencing. In due course the result came back and I found out that I have increased risk for Alzheimer's and heart disease and reduced risk for various cancers and congenital deafness (not that that helped me any, eh?). Also, I'm a slow metaboliser of caffeine, which could explain a lot.
*noms some coffee*
Meanwhile, the stuff that really interested me was the family stuff. I don't know if it's because I'm an expat and never knew my extended family, but I've always been interested in where I came from, and spent some time about 10 years ago researching the family tree back to some dude called John who was born in Thirsk in the 1700s. All of which is fairly easy if you follow the paternal line. However, this DNA business only shows me my maternal ancestry because, you know, XX.
I am trying to convince my brother to spit in a test tube for me, but meanwhile, I have discovered that my historic laydeez are from a relatively uncommon haplogroup that originated in northern Pakistan 25000 years ago and is still most common there, while being spread fairly thinly throughout Europe. I found a guy called Mark who is analysing this particular haplogroup and sent him the sequence of my mitochondrial DNA.
Within a couple of hours he'd analysed it by comparing with others of the same haplogroup and placed me on a map which follows the mutations to a point where mine diverge:
The green boxes show the line of mutations I have that match others, the red show the ones I don't have. As you can see, I get my own wee twig in this tree. Lalala.
Anyway, this guy's done a fair bit of analysis and was able to tell me that people in this subgroup (W4) with related sequences are from Finland, Sweden, Britain and Ireland. He's also traced the migration of W4 from where it diverged from the main subgroup about 12000 years ago:
It's a reasonable guess that my lot took the northern route given that my DNA matches with others whose ancestors lie along that line. Apparently W4 ended up in the British Isles about 1000 years ago.
All of which makes me curious about my ancestral laydeez. So last night I dragged out the old books and had a hunt around and discovered that quite a lot of stuff that I could easily research a few years ago is now behind paywalls. I suspect people spotted a business opportunity in other folks' fascination with navel gazing and ancestry research. Also, the Mormons used to have quite a good site but now it's kind of crap (at least, in my brief foray there last night it was). I'm loathe to pay money to do things like this - anyone out there who's done this sort of thing know of a free option that I haven't found yet?
I did discover that going direct to the source for BMD certificates is about half the price of going through some of the genealogy websites - but once upon a time you could look at that sort of thing online and it seems that now you can't. Bollocks.
The other thing that took my fancy yesterday was skull shaping. Don't worry, I'm not about to rush off and do it, but I couldn't stop staring at the pictures of skulls and wondering why people would do it.
"Hey Mum, I want to be a pinhead, all the cool kids are doing it! Can I? Huh, huh?"