23andMe

Curious about the odds of your becoming addicted to heroin? How about the risk of Restless Legs Syndrome? Or why your eye is the colour it is? Wouldn’t it be dandy to – at last – confirm your earwax type?

I have come up with an ‘untoppable’ birthday gift for yours truly — major points here. At least six months ago I had read about a company – 23andMe – that you could send your DNA to in the form of saliva and receive a comprehensive breakdown of your innate traits, essentially a web-based kit.  To help determine anything you might be at heightened risk of developing. To confirm any hereditary quirks you may have come to notice over the years.. sneezing from the sun, premature hair loss, booze-induced blushing (alcohol flush reaction) etc. I was toying with the idea for a while without being able to remember the name of the company or where I’d read about it! Anyway, turns out it was an old issue of the New Yorker,which I buy possibly twice a year, heh.

The idea of it is so enthralling! Personality and traits are so fluid.. so complex and difficult to describe or distinguish. But this way, science may lead you to discover benign talents you might not have ever been made aware of otherwise, it’s a strangely romantic idea for me, not far from being able to see the future, in a way. I despised school, despised most of my teachers, but I loved hearing my psychology teacher talk nature vs nuture.

After looking at the website I’m not sure the information would prove helpful in the end (the percentage-based rick of this or that is my least favourite part of the kit), but still – so entertaining! Who knows what could be available to the public in 10 years? I am an enormous fan of evidence and reason, and therefore science. But science can be left to interpretation, just like attempting to describe one’s personality. We make conclusions on the best evidence available at the time, but it irritates me when conclusions are vague, or drawn prematurely. Particularly when the media sensationalises a study ..scientists have discovered a link between X and Y.. X will increase your risk of  Y by this much.. etc. A good (albeit trivial) example I remember hearing (listening to Point of Inquiry in bed): the idea of knowing whether eating kiwi fruit, or tomatoes, will give you a minute increase of life expectancy. There isn’t a way of knowing for sure – I mean beyond any doubt. But that’s more than ok – we reexamine and  rediscover and always evolve – that’s what’s wonderful about the world! :)

Anyway, it’s something I’d absolutely spend $399 on,hohoho :D Particualrly as it might shed some light on my ethnic background, right?! I could be a right twat, going on about being 1/8 this and 3/4 that. :P My family either can’tor won’t tell me anything anyway (!). I have this underlying suspicion that there’s some sinister family secret, that I will never find out about mind you. Ha.

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