“Say Cheese” , DNA said How many times, when stuck into a party, wedding or gathering, you ended up hearing “Say Cheese” before hearing the click of your joyful friend’s camera ? I bet many times. Laughter and smile is one of the most awesome human reactions. It’s the expression of pleasure, sociability, pure happiness and amusement. Both expressions are without doubt influenced by age, culture, gender, education, etc. But what about DNA? Can genetics affect our reactivity to humorous situations or funny things ? Can DNA predict our potential to laugh or smile? This is the topic of today’s post ;). Paper Title : Short alleles, Bigger Smiles? The Effect of 5-HTTLPR on Positive Emotional Expression What it really means : How much you smile/laugh might be explained by your DNA. One
Our bodies take an immense amount of beating on a day-to-day basis. The environment is full of toxins that affect our cells. From ambient radiation to the food we eat, these toxins sometimes have a direct effect on our cells and the DNA that lies within them. So how is our DNA protected from these external stresses? This question formed the basis of my PhD work! It turns out that within our cells there are proteins that serve as the guardian angels of the DNA. The proteins, known as DNA repair proteins, are able to sense and repair any damage they encounter in the DNA. Their functions are extremely specialized and the protein workload is astonishingly distributed to eventually repair the damaged DNA lesions. Damage sensors first sense the damaged
I’m pretty sure that all of you already heard observations like these : ” Their entire family is so calm”, or “this behavior runs in their blood”. We all know people around us that have similar characteristics to their parents and so on. Indeed, there are loads of scientific papers showing that some behavioral traits have genetic basis. Today I want to share a behavioral genetics study that goes beyond familial genetics and deals with friendship. Paper Title : Friendship and natural selection What it really means : You and your friend have a genetic connection too. Talking about friendship, it is quite obvious to assume that we have more chances to establish a bond with similar people (similar interests). Of course, we also know that some people are attracted by opposites.
Have you ever wondered about the mechanics of choosing a partner. Most of the time, it is a natural, spontaneous process, where you end up meeting someone…you sense a ‘chemistry’ and things move forward from there. Other than physical attraction, the connection is made based on things like common interests- movies, books TV shows and so on. Recently, however, researchers at the University of Colorado discovered that married couples have more DNA in common than random pairs of people! This is intriguing, as it is the first time that DNA has been implicated in choosing a mate. And while the research is preliminary, it opens the door for further research. Paper title: Genetic and educational assortive mating among U.S adults Simply put, what the authors do here is compare the
“I used to be way over on the nurture side, but I’ve swung way of the nature side, … And it’s because of Mona and having kids. My daughter is 14 months old, and it’s already clear what her personality is. ” Steve Jobs There ain’t a better way to start today’s scientific digest than talking about Steve Jobs. He is known for being one of the most inspirational characters of our times through his inventions and vision. His story is also one of many that reflects the role of genetics and environment in shaping who we are. Steve jobs was the first child of a couple of two graduate students from Wisconsin university. The biological parents gave him up for adoption due to family pressure. He grew up in a modest