What Do Your Genes Really Determine?

Genes are the basic heredity unit for everything about you from your hair, eye and skin color to how you write, cross your arms and sneeze. The Human Genome Project estimated humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. Most are the same through all people, it’s only about 1 percent of the total that are unique; these alleles are what distinguished our different physical attributes.


Let’s delve into a little bit of Epigenetics. There is a common structural component called the methyl group that sits outside of DNA but can causes permanent changes to DNA, much like a mutated gene. Female mice fed food rich is methyl groups have inexplicable darkening of fur that stayed permanent through the continued generations of mice. This lead to the question of whether a person’s experiences to contribute to future generations’ DNA.

Experiences Influence DNA

Studies suggest the the experiences of our ancestors leave un-erasable marks on our makeup; a residue that is imprinted until you change it. You’re great grandmother might have struggled through a famine and given you a better resilience towards hunger and fighting spirit but something could knock you down far enough to create a new impression on your molecular structure.

So, technically, when your family claims to have had bad luck ever since your great great great grandfather had to sell his farm, it’s true. The methyl group would have edited your genes to expect the worse and, therefore, do things that would lead you into unfortunate circumstances.

Changing Your DNA

Now that we know experiences could affect future generations — is it possible to directly change your genes? Maybe you are worried about passing on anxiety that runs in the family, perhaps if you take a direct approach to improving your quality of life can alter mental illness. Generally, it would have to be something really big to shake things up, but it’s worth a try.

To learn more about our DNA testing services, contact Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City today.

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