A Family Event: Learning More About Me

I have a personal interest in DNA because I am beginning my career in ForensicScience, and have had extensive coursework in biology and genetics during my college education. Learning about genetic disorders, inheritance patterns and the effect of environment on diseases has been personally fascinating to me. 

My parents first submitted their DNA samples to 23 and me, and later received free accounts for both my brother and I to send our samples in as well. Not only has this shown our family what DNA has been passed from what parent, I learned my mitochondrial DNA heritage tracing through my mother’s line. It has shown me what illnesses I am a carrier for, and what I am genetically predisposed towards. I also learned that my brother and I are compatible in all of our immune genes which were tested (over 300 SNPs). He will be the first I call if I need an organ transplant! I have learned that I am not at risk for any common illnesses for my gender and race (such as multiple sclerosis or breast cancer). Knowing my carrier status is important to me in determining my risk for carrying a child with a genetic disorder, something which the website provides. My partner also has expressed interest in learning his genetic profile to determine his carrier status or disease risk for other traits which run in his family (hypertension). Knowing what diseases we are predisposed towards allow us to guide our healthcare providers in a direction, and to know which illnesses in our family history may have been passed forward to us. 

While I was always interested in learning my genetic profile for personal curiosity, I may have felt differently if a family member was diagnosed with a genetic disease with a dominant inheritance pattern. For now I have not learned anything negative about my genetic inheritance, and the site offers a ton of other interesting features through research of its members: likely eye color, tendency to freckle, and how likely hair is to be straight. I have been excited to learn about my DNA and hope to one day be able to view my DNA letter by letter.