Posts Tagged ‘23andMe’

Pillow talk

Her: Why haven’t you asked me to try that one thing that you really want to try, but haven’t tried yet?

Him: It’s not something you can just “do” Honey. It takes time to learn. You know how I always overestimate how difficult it will be to learn something new? and then my prefrontal cortex – hippocampal connections go and mediate a rapid-fire one shot kind of learning?

Her: Awwww, don’t be embarrassed Dear. I am glad you are an ZNF804A  rs1344706 heterozygote. If I had to choose between too quickly or going on and on for hours … well, let’s just say, my favorite part is always the hugging afterwards. Mmmmkay?

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Don’t worry about your general cognitive ability genes. Otherwise, check out this study led by Drs. Joe Trampush and Anil Malhotra from the Feinstein Institute showing that the less frequent and non-ancestral (A) alelle of rs1906252 was associated with higher Spearman’s General Intelligence (g-factor) scores.  This SNP sits 700 kilobases upstream of a putative ubiquitin ligase subunit (FBXL4) connected to severe psychomotor retardation. Loss-of-function in other ubiquitin ligase subunits have also been implicated in mental retardation.

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A genetic predisposition to develop a drinking problem when exposed to beer is not, however, that reason.

From: Genetics and Genomics of Alcohol Sensitivity (2014)

However, with the exception of the large effects contributed by variation at ADH1B and ALDH2 in Asian populations (Edenberg 2007; Hurley and Edenberg 2012), there is little consistency across studies. Nevertheless, one gene encoding cadherin 13 (CDH13) was replicated in four independent studies among all SNPs that were significant at a nominal P value (Johnson et al. 2006; Liu et al. 2006b; Treutlein et al. 2009; Lind et al. 2010).

If you’re going to make a clone army, you might want to avoid the CDH13 rs11640875 A alleles. Also keep in mind that there are some 100 different types of cadherin molecules expressed in the brain and they mediate all manner of cell-to-cell contact and signalling processes. Not surprisingly, this class of cell adhesion molecules are widely associated with mental disorders.

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American Omic


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The “T” allele of rs1378810 in your DNAJC13 gene has been associated with a slight benefit (less than 0.4% variance) in general cognitive ability. You can check your 23andMe profile.*  What? You’re a TT? Ooooh … nobody is impressed. But let’s not make light of our DNAJ genes just yet.

Consider the critical role of DNAJC5, a so-called cysteine-string protein (because it encodes a protein with an array of cysteine residues). This protein helps synaptic vesicles fuse and un-fuse so that your neurons can release and re-cycle tiny packets of neurotransmitters – which is how neurons send signals to one another. Yeah, vesicle fusion is really important … and is happening like a quadriillion times right now in your brain.

Mutations in the cysteine string of DNAJC5 have been associated with Huntington’s disease.

[artwork credit]

*Interpreting 23andMe data here can be confusing because 23andMe lists an A or T as possible alleles but one isn’t always sure which strand the research literature refers to and if that strand is the same strand that 23andMe is reading from. Luckily SNPedia points out that an rs1378810 TT is in tight linkage disequilibrium with rs2133692 TT (T or C alleles) so you can check this genotype on 23andMe to infer your rs1378810 genotype. My 23andMe profile says AA at rs1378810 and TT at rs2133692, so I think I have the slightly beneficial TT genotype … but I’m really not sure. Confused? Me too. But like the research suggests, this genotype really doesn’t add much to one’s general cognitive ability.

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Colm O’Dushlaine rocked his 23andMe profile … hard! … and then shared it with the world.

Totally. Awesome.

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