Have you heard about the service called AncestryDNA.com in which you submit a sample of your saliva with a credit card number and get a full report of your genetic background?
When I heard the TV commercial I did a double helix, then immediately went nucleotide, shrieking, “Wow! Who would want to delve that deeply into their cellular origins?”
As soon as I said it, I realized that even though I don’t have the courage or the extra cash to explore my biology, it doesn’t mean other people with too much money and a touch of narcissism shouldn’t drill into their complex sequences.
I have to admit I was intrigued enough to imagine what my sample would reveal. Here are the results of my unscientific analysis.
Potato dirt: Growing up on an Aroostook County potato farm caused some potato dirt to mingle with my genetic code. This explains why I have an affinity for dust bunnies and need a certain amount of filth to accumulate before I reach for the vacuum cleaner.
Independence: I don’t like stereotypes so I envision my test tube flinging itself to the floor shattering the possibility of attaching a label.
Funny bone: When staring at my genes instead of a double helix, my chromosomes would form a funny bone, since seeing the comedic side of life is solidly planted in my DNA.
Crystals: I’m not referring to new age healing crystals. Living in cold temperatures for a lifetime, I’ve seen more below zero days than an arctic explorer, and since every year it becomes more difficult for me to warm up, I can only conjecture that some of my cells have turned into ice crystals.
Words: I love words, what they convey, what they teach, and how they impact my mind and emotions. I suspect at the core of my cell nucleus is a thesaurus and tiny books with opposite charges keeping my nucleic acids from unraveling.
Coffee: If scientists peered into my ribosomal activity they would discover the fuel that burns calories is caffeine.
Multiple heritages: I suppose this is why most people spring for this sort of test, to determine the many nationalities that came together to make them who they are. I don’t need a chemistry set to figure this out. Irish immigrants landed in North America, linked up with French Canadians, eventually moved to Maine and mingled with Micmac Native Americans creating my motley crew of ancestors who could have won the reality show Survivor.
Heartiness gene: The rumor is my paternal grandfather born in Canada was premature, and his first cradle was a shoebox. Born before NICUs and perinatologists, he survived to father 14 children. My dad was the eldest and lived to age 94.
Appetite: My molecules eat like the Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately, instead of consuming a few bites before moving to the next scene, I finish everything on my plate making my ribosomes eligible for a gastric bypass.
Faith: I am confident there is light and life on the path our chromosomes travel. Spoiler alert: The good guys win in the end.
What about you? What makes you uniquely you and how did you discover it?