Pablo Rodriguez

This week I got my genetics results from 23andme. I have been fascinated since. You basically send a saliva sample and they decipher your DNA genome in about three weeks. Then, they pass a number of analytics on your DNA and tell you a bunch of interesting things about you: e.g. where your family comes from, what illness you are likely to contract, or what you could like the most. For instance, it seems that I have higher changes than an average person to get prostate cancer in the future, the same risk than the average to get arthritis, and less risk than the average to get diabetes. The analysis also tells me that I am unlikely to become bold (which I am not), that my eyes are likely brown/green (which they are), and that my muscles are better for sprint running rather than endurance (which is very of true). I would take all these things with a pinch of salt since they statistics after all and a lot of things depend on the style of life you have, but it has made me think about a few things to watch out for in the future. For instance, one of the first things I did was to look for the G2019S mutation in gene LRRK2 which is known to cause high changes of Parkinson disease (see recent post
by Sergey Brin talking about his case). I don’t seem to carry this mutation, and actually my risks of having Parkinson disease are much smaller than the average, however, I will keep an eye for other risky mutations.

Regarding my family heritage, I am mitochondrial maternal DNA haplogroup H3 and paternal Y chromosome R1b. This translates into having family ancestors from my mum’s genetic line which come mostly from Asturias in the north of Spain and that is the same genetic line which later spread over the south of England. Regarding my dad’s DNA line it seems I am a lot more mixed, with Germanic, African, and Irish influences.

There have been similar efforts like the genographic project by National Geographic (photo above). However, the interesting thing here is that as scientists develop more analytics they will be able to tell you a lot more things about you: e.g. what is the probability that you will marry soon vs date for a long time, the best medicine drug for you, or what foods will give you more joy. This can do for a great gift for your family or friends to know how many genes you got from your dad vs your mum, or what are the chances that your kids will be blonde or have how blue eyes… Welcome to the future!