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12 Shocking Things Your Genes Say About YOU

It’s Time to Know What Our Genes Say About Us!

Are you curious to know what your genes say about you? There are some traits that you were naturally born with, such as your eye color and hair color. They come from your genes. In order to read those molecules, scientists need to use a microscope, because that’s where you get to read the information passed down from your parents, which is also known as DNA.

However, a small percentage of your DNA is yours alone. The differences help determine how you look, the way your body works if you are at risk for any diseases, and your personality. Are you curious to know what your genes say about you? If so, here’s what you need to know:

genes say
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Sunlight sneeze

If you’ve noticed that you constantly feel the urge to sneeze when you step into bright light, then you’re probably dealing with a photic sneeze reflex. It generally affects a quarter of the population. However, it is still unclear how light could lead to sneezing, but some scientists think that it has to do with the genes that your parents pass down to you.

It only takes a parent who is a sun-sneezer, and their child will have a 50% chance of becoming one, too.

Perfect pitch

A trained musician could generally sing you a note, such as G, but you have to give them a starting pitch, like C. Well, this is something known as a relative pitch. If you have absolute or even perfect pitch, you can easily hear and sing any note without hearing another one first.

Your genes could play a part in this skill. In one survey, people with perfect pitch were way more likely to have a close relative who had it. However, musical training makes a difference.


Warning: this is an example that only those with a strong stomach can read: your earwax can either be dry, grayish, and flaky, or wet, yellow, and sticky. Which one seems to depend solely on the versions of your genes, known as ABCC11.

The same gene is linked to the smell of sweat in your armpits. As it turns out, if you are one of those fellows with wet, sticky earwax, then you probably also have a stronger body odor than the other folks.

Lark or owl

It seems that the time of day when you’re most alert and productive is usually driven by your body’s internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm. The majority of people would run on a 24-hour schedule, but it can happen at a faster or slower pace, which would make you a morning lark or a night owl.

Specific genes also seem to play an active role in this, and any changes in those genes could ultimately lead to disorders that make you fall asleep or wake up at weird hours.

The roots of gray hair

When it comes to what our genes have to say, our biggest curiosity relies on how soon we will start to notice our hair turning gray. Luckily, scientists actually discovered a gene that helps you understand whether or not you will get gray hair.

The gene is known as IRF4, and it helps make the pigment in your hair, eyes, and skin. It can also give us insight into aging and how you can hold off those silver locks for longer. But that’s not all: they also discovered a couple of genes that are linked to balding, curly hair, and, our personal favorite, unibrow!

genes say
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Your father’s influence

So far, we all know that a pregnant woman’s age, diet, and weight can affect the newborn’s health. However, did you ever consider that the father has something to do with it? If you’re curious to know what your genes say, don’t hesitate to look on your father’s side, too, because here’s an interesting prospect.

It turns out that as men get older if they gain weight and become heavy drinkers, their genes can be altered. And if those changes are passed down, those kids are more at risk of developing autism, diabetes, and cancer.

The weight

Good news: what you eat and how much you exercise aren’t the only culprits for your weight surplus. It seems that your DNA plays a huge role in this. In fact, scientists have discovered that some people’s genes nudge them toward a higher-than-healthy weight. A nutritious diet might tip the scales in your favor.

The likelihood of becoming blind

When it comes to blindness, experts think that several dozen gene variations could raise the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It’s one of the leading causes of blindness in people who are 50 and older.

Moreover, some combinations have been strictly tied to wet AMD, which is a more advanced form of the disease. This also means that one day, doctors might be able to test for genetic risk and even come up with brand-new ways to prevent and treat such disorders.

Gluten allergy

Around 40% of us could have the genes that are at fault for causing celiac disease. If you have never heard of celiac disease, it is a disorder that stops you from digesting gluten and also causes inflammation in the intestines. Only 1% of people with these genes suffer from symptoms. Also, scientists aren’t completely sure what makes the difference.

genes say
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Viruses that boost immunity

As we all know, our ancestors had to face a ton of viral illnesses. After all, that’s basically how our species evolved so much. Well, today, a little bit of our DNA still has some leftovers from those viruses that our ancestors tried to fight with.

Initially, scientists were tempted to believe that these strange bits had no purpose. But at one point, they decided to remove them from cells in a lab, and what they discovered was truly amazing.

The nearby genes were no longer capable of triggering the immune system to fight off virus attacks, which helped scientists understand that those ancient viruses were the ones to protect us against new ones all this time.

Meet your cousin, the worm.

This is crazy, but it’s worth mentioning: researchers in Japan believe that people share around 14,000 genes, which is 70% of their genetic makeup, with tiny worms. Yep, I thought so, too. These creatures live in the water (you’re already spotting similarities, right?) and breathe through slits in their guts, just like fish gills.

As these Japanese scientists claimed, there’s consistent evidence that those slits evolved into our jaw, tongue, and voice box, as well as our throat muscle. Excuse me, I’m going to throw away all the food in my fridge. I don’t think I’m ever going to eat again after this.

But this is nature.

If this article only made you question what is hiding in your DNA, remember that your health, personality, and looks come from many things, your genes included. Also, your environment, lifestyle, and a bit of luck could make all the difference.

But besides all this, the only thing that will truly impact who you become is the choices you make. Those are the ones that will ultimately shape you and your character, so make sure you don’t focus only on the things that Mother Nature gave us. Also, what better way to learn more about genetics than listening to “Genetics for Dummies“? I think this is one of the best books to kickstart your knowledge about where you come from and how you were “made”!

If you’re interested in reading more, here’s what we recommend: 4 Amazing Space Discoveries of the Last Decade


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8 Responses

  1. I’ve confirmed (via 23&Me and Genomelink to which I shared my 23&Me data) that my ear wax, hair thickness-color-and-bald spot traits, disease resistance, sunlight sneeze and average body weight fits my gene sequence data. I’ve learned that I have the opposite of perfect pitch, i.e. I cannot even copy a played or sung note. However, my capacity to generate or copy an appropriate rhythm and or dance step is near perfect…no one has mentioned THAT trait.
    I also have a curious segment of a chromosome that amounts to 0.2% of my genome which is identifiable as Coptic Egyptian but 99.7% of my genome is Northwestern European and 0.1% is East Asian. Those trace amounts make me very curious.

  2. Looking in a mirror, I can tell that I inherited my paternal grandmother’s genes. One of my siblings is clearly paternal grandfather, and the other two, more maternal traits. Not bad, all the grandparents were healthy and lived long lives, but I got the “easy weight gainer gene”. Someone on the paternal side had a diabetes gene but stayed healthy but a bunch of us in my generation got it. Now, about the earwax, I don’t know. Musical ability, none evident anywhere and I had a total of 47 first cousins. Oh well.

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