Knowing where your characteristics come from is incredibly interesting from a scientific point of view. Being able to determine which of your genes are recessive and dominant is also a great way to pinpoint who to blame when you get grounded for dyeing your blonde hair, again.
You’re one of the unlucky ones if you have lactose intolerance. Not being able to eat anything with dairy in it can be a right pain in the posterior, and trying to find dairy-free ice cream can take you hours (and even then it doesn’t taste too good). There are two causes of lactose intolerance, and one can be blamed on your family. Primary lactose intolerance is the most common form of this deficiency and is caused by a genetic fault that runs within your genetic makeup, which is why your parents might have it too. This form normally develops at around two years old, when you’ve stopped breastfeeding. But the symptoms sometimes don’t appear until you get older, so you can just about get away with stuffing your face full of cheese fondue while you’re still young.
People who wear glasses suffer pain each day. We can’t look down without our frames threatening to fall off our face, and God forbid we try to lie sideways in bed to catch up on our Netflix shows… because they’ll rise in an awkward diagonal motion, coming to a stop anywhere but on our eyes. So who do we have to blame for our short-sightedness? Researchers have found that there are almost twenty-four different genes that can affect our chances of developing short-sightedness and having one of them passed down from our parents can cause that gene to dominate our genetic makeup and our vision.
Many people believe that our cholesterol changes due to the amount of burgers we eat. This is true, but high and low cholesterol is also genetically inherited. There are many different types of cholesterol, and researchers have told us that there are over one hundred different genes that affect our cholesterol levels and how our body manages this. For example, the Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is caused by inheriting faulty genes from a parent, and around 1 in every 500 people are affected.
If you’ve started to bald, it’s more than likely that you’re trying to blame something or someone else for it happening to you… because it definitely wasn’t from that cheap hair thickener you bought online. Research has told us that 80% of balding can be caused by genetics. It has often been said that hair loss is passed down through the mother’s side, which is true. Baldness also occurs because your body is becoming more and more sensitive to androgens – a male sex hormone which is passed on through your genetic makeup.
Have you ever walked out of a movie theater into the light and suddenly really needed to sneeze? If so, you have Achoo syndrome. I know, it’s a great name. This syndrome is a dominant gene trait that is passed down from your parents and is sometimes called the Photic Sneeze Reflex. This is when you sneeze after being exposed to light. Gee, thanks, mom and dad.
Detached or attached earlobes
If you didn’t compare earlobes in biology class, did you really take biology? When learning about genetics, earlobes are the main attraction, and the question of whether your earlobes are attached or detached from the side of your face is a big one. In genetic terms, more people should have detached earlobes because this is the dominant gene, whereas attached earlobes are recessive. So if both of your parents have attached earlobes, expect to have them too.
Being able to roll your tongue is a centuries-old party trick. If you have the ability to roll your tongue into a tube shape, then you carry the dominant gene that has been transferred down from your parents. If you can’t roll your tongue, no matter how hard you may try, you carry the recessive gene, and it is unlikely that your parents can roll their tongues either. And if you can roll your tongue into a double roll, well… you’re just special.