Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Very Brief Blog: We Cross 400,000 Hits; My 2nd Adventure with DTC Genetics

This Blog: 1,000 Posts Reached

In the past couple weeks this blog, which started in Febuary 2014, reached 400,000 hits.  (Some readers primary follow by email feeds or readers, which don't count as hits).   The blog also crossed 1000 total posts.

Today: My Second Encounter with DTC Genetics

In November 2018, I wrote a blog about my encounters with COLOR and UBIOME DTC genetics - here.  Mostly, it was a lot of confirmed negatives - my gut flora was "normal" and "had no pathogens;" I had no unusual genes for cardiac and other disorders like potassium channel mutations.

Over the holidays, I sent in a saliva sample for Ancestry and Health & Wellness reports from 23andMe.  Turnaround was  about 14 days.


My known familial history is 50% Irish (all of my dad's four grandparents) and 50% German (or French-German/Alsace-Lorraine; all my mom's four grandparents), all of whom settled in Iowa farmland around the 1880s.

23andMe came up with 80% British-Irish and 20% either French/German or Northwestern European (10% each)

Update March 2019: classed me as: 60% Irish/Scottish and 40% Britain/Northern Europe. 

23andMe classed my maternal haplogroup as J2a1a1 and my paternal haplogroup as R-CTS241, something I'll need to read up on to understand (they provide the reading).   23andMe tells me there are 1,038 potential relatives in their data.


There are 8 parameters: alcohol flush, caffeine consumption, deep sleep, sleep movement, lactose intolerance, genetic weight, muscle composition, genetic weight, "saturate fat and weight."  Most of these flit about "average" with a few "more likely" or "less likely." 

My muscle composition is "common in elite power athletes," but maybe they tell that to everyone.


Of 9 parameters, other than "slight increased risk" for macular degeneration, I had no variants for late onset Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, celiac disease, G6PD deficiency, [common] BRCA variants, or several others.

Since I had one grandparent of 4 with Alzheimer's, I had some concerns.  My academic career was in Alzheimer's research (1994-2001), so I was very familiar with the ApoE4 risk gene and the pro's/con's of test results, as discussed now for several decades.  When the test was actually available in this 23andMe report, I spent about 30 seconds deciding on the click-through to see it.

Other News

For some January 2019 press about 23andMe, usefulness, etc, see here.

Around the time this blog was published, Ubiome laid off 50 of 300 employees to concentrate on "pharma, retailers, and payers" (I guess that's the range of options, leaving out the original DTC business itself.)  UBiome raised $83M in October 2018.