50 Fascinating Facts about DNA and Genes – Part 2

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1Bajau People Mutation

A rare mutation among the Bajau people of Southeast Asia lets them stay underwater longer. Natural selection at the PDE10A gene has increased the spleen size in the Bajau, providing them with a larger reservoir of oxygenated red blood cells.


2. A rare kind of mutation in the LRP5 gene can cause your bones to become super dense and thereby fill life with inconveniences such as sinking like a rock and walking away from automobile accidents without a single fracture.


3. Because of a lucky genetic mutation that happened in the 18th century, today 38 people in a small town in northern Italy (Limone) don't suffer from cholesterol artery-clogging, making them virtually immune to heart disease and strokes. They all smoke, they eat a lot, and they don’t care.


4. There is a happiness gene called ‘5-HTT’ in our genome that affects how happy we are.


5. Cri Du Chat (cat's cry) Syndrome is caused by the partial deletion of chromosome 5. This disorder causes children to have a high-pitched cry similar to a cat.


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6Tree Man Syndrome

Tree man syndrome is a rare gene mutation that makes people highly susceptible to HPV. Sufferers tend to uncontrollably grow warts resembling tree bark from head to toe. In one case, one man had 95% of his warts (13 pounds) surgically removed, but they grew back and he eventually died from the condition.


7. There is a tribe in Zimbabwe called Vadoma. A substantial minority of them are two-toed. It is due to a mutation on chromosome number 7.


8. There is a family in Italy named Marsili which cannot feel pain due to a rare genetic mutation. Family members can suffer burns and broken bones while feeling virtually no pain and they do not need any sort of anesthesia during surgery.


9. If you inherit two mutated versions of the MC1R-gene, you end up ginger. If you only inherit one, then you may end up with a red beard, but dark hair.


10. A geneticist at Utah State University has created "Spider-Goats." He took the gene that encodes dragline silk from an orb-weaver spider and placed it among the DNA that prompts milk production in a goat's udders. The silk produced from its milk is stronger than Kevlar and is suitable for ligament repairs.


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11Eva Pym

A little girl named Eva Pym is the only known person in the world with her particular chromosomal deletion. Eva has severe movement and mobility delays and development and language delays.


12. Approximately 30 to 50% of East Asian are intolerant to alcohol due to a faulty version of the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene. It may cause flushing on a person's face and body and other symptoms including nausea, headache, and general physical discomfort after drinking alcohol.


13. One family in Turkey walks on all fours due to a rare syndrome that strikes the areas of the brain that controls balance. This rare mutation prevents proteins from distributing fat molecules correctly in the cells, which leads to defective nerve cells, brain damage, and loss of balance.


14. There is a gene called TAS2R38 and it particularly determines how much you like certain vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli.


15. On experiments with mice researchers discovered that mutation in EDAR370A gene causes thicker hair, smaller mammary fat pads, and more sweat glands. This mutation is found in many East Asians.


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16Smell Of Cyanide

About 20-40% of the human population does not have the gene that lets people detect the smell of cyanide.


17. A boy in the UK is the only one in the world to have a condition called Hamish Syndrome (which is named after him). This condition causes one of his kidneys to be located in his leg. Both kidneys are fully functional and are believed to be caused by a missing chromosome named 7p22.1


18. The gene Zbtb7 which is responsible for the proliferation of cancer throughout surrounding cells, was originally named "Pokémon". It is a backronym for "POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor." The Pokémon Company threatened legal action because they believed it to be bad press.


19. Some people’s earwax is different from others, and the wetness of it is determined by your 16th chromosome.


20. Some women can have a genetic mutation that causes them to gain a 4th color-vision cone in their eyes, allowing them to see millions of more colors.


21Mexican Tetra Fish

The river-dwelling Mexican Tetra fish is capable of regenerating its heart tissue with no scarring. The genes that are responsible for this are named iirc10 and caveolin. These genes are also present in in humans. Scientists believe these genes can be activated to regenerate heart tissue in us as well.


22. There is a mutation in the HTR2B gene called "the violent gene" that’s exclusive to Finnish men which makes them way more violent and aggressive than others when intoxicated.


23. In 1994, scientists were able to isolate a specific mutation of the breast cancer gene BRCA2 after mapping the genome of the entire population of Iceland (just under 335,000 citizens).


24. A young man named Brenden Adams has a unique disorder of the 12th chromosome causing uncontrollable growth during his teenage years and making him grow to 7'8" by the age of 18.


25. ‘Happy Puppet’ syndrome or Angelman Syndrome causes patients to flap their hands uncontrollably and laugh. It is now known to be a genetic disorder resulting from a mutation on chromosome 15. Though the sufferers have a happy demeanor and have easily excitable personality, it is a debilitating disease with symptoms such as microcephaly, seizures and motor problems.

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