May 19th, 2011


Tinnitus and genetics, together at last

Yesterday my 23andMe results became available. Turns out I'm a slow metaboliser of caffeine and that my maternal line originated in the near East, probably Pakistan, likely Kurdish. But this is a long way back (500 years plus), and in terms of genetic 'demographics', it appears that I'm 100% European*. Ohai, whitey in the house! Although the Pakistan thing possibly explains why my white is browner than Dr Wheel's white. Maybe. Spot the person who didn't study genetics lalala.

* They do this colour-coded picture thing that shows where various genetic thingies indicate genes from the 3 major geographic regions where humans originated - Africa, Asia or Europe. The examples were all mixes of the three, but mine is all the same colour. Clearly my ancestors were boring stick-in-the-muds who didn't move around much (except somehow making their way from Pakistan to England).

Anyway, it seems that I'm genetically pretty damn sound. I have one copy of the APOE ε4 variant which means I have twice the average risk of developing Alzheimers when I'm older, but at 14% it's still pretty low. I have half the average risk of getting breast cancer. Weirdly even though my eyesight is crap, I have lower risk of it getting really crap than average. And I don't carry anything nasty. So I was able to tell The Kid "Congratulations, your Mum is worth breeding from."


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Hey guess what? The Kid got a certificate from his school for excellence in maintained effort in class! I was all "Who are you and what have you done with my son?" but really, I'm very proud - he's not often been up for recognition from *cough* authoritative establishments and usually I only hear from them when he's not doing well, so YAY! I was all gushy, he was all *nonchalance* - mostly I feel a sense of how far we've travelled in the last couple of years, and this is like a marker on that road to show it's not just my imagination.

I'm getting my hearing tested tonight. I suspect it'll come out somewhere between 'keep an eye on it' and 'here's a referral to a specialist'. I have my fingers crossed that there's a petrified baked bean stuck in there from when I was four or something, and its removal will reveal perfect hearing that's been protected for all these years by the presence of the bean.

I can dream, can't I?