100% DNA, A Rare Find

by Noelle Adams

Genetic diversity. From a biological point of view is a very good thing.  Genetic diversity in a single person helps to prevent recessive genetic defects from becoming a problem and is far more common now than it ever historically has been. We can thank the Wright Brothers, the inventors of the airplane, for that.

Immigration has had a profound influence on world cultures and even more on our biology.  Racial markers have become blurred and mixed together to create humans who are starting to drift away from simple racial designations.  Because of this, only a small percent of the world’s population has 100% of their genes come from one geographic area, but even then DNA can play tricks on you.

Our genes are responsible for a lot of who we are. For instance, I have dark hair, fair skin that tans easily, and Blue/Gray eyes.  I’m also the tallest girl in my family. At 5’10’ I stick out and people notice. I’ve been asked if I hate wearing heels (love them thank you! Especially if they’re taller than 3”) or if I had ever considered being a model (I actually DID get scouted once, but I have issues with being in front of an audience in my underwear, so I said no) and if I was uncomfortable dating guys shorter than me (Not really. In my experience those ones are the most fun!)

On the other hand, my sister just younger than me is Blonde with green eyes, very fair skin, and tops out a 5’6”. (And before you speculate, yes, she is my full genetic sister. Same parents and everything I promise!)

How is it that we are so physically different when we have the same parents?

The answer is rather surprising and can be found in something called genetic inheritance. ”Genetic inheritance is a basic principle of genetics and explains how characteristics are passed from one generation to the next. Genetic inheritance occurs due to genetic material, in the form of DNA, being passed from parents to their offspring.” basicbiology.net/micro/genetics/genetic-inheritance/

Remember our good friend Mendel from 7th-grade biology? The guy who did the experiment with the peas? Yeah, I didn’t either. So here’s a refresher: Mendel’s law of inheritance.

In other words, you inherit half your genes from your mom and half from your dad. So if your mom is half Indian and half Chinese and your dad is half Indian and half European, You could potentially be born 100% genetically Indian even though your parents were not themselves.  The chances of this happening are better if your family hasn’t moved or inter-married with other races for the last thousand years or so, but it is possible even if they have.

Sara H. was rather surprised when her DNA came back as 100% Japanese because she had blue eyes.  Both her parents had several Caucasian family members in their ancestry and she had anticipated seeing a small percentage of European DNA in her analysis.

“Genetics can be really funny,” she said to myDNApie.com, “it works by its own rules and is constantly surprising people with the way it forms together.”

What did your DNA analysis say? Let us know in the comments!

One thought on “100% DNA, A Rare Find

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