If you ever thought genetics was only about disease, then check out the popular SNPs list on SNPedia. A SNP (pronounced “snip”) is a single nucleotide polymorphism, which in BradSpeak(TM) is basically a difference in a bit of your DNA that makes you different from the rest.
Anyway, here’s the Top Five SNPs that might be described as having no obvious direct medical importance.
- rs1815739 sprinters vs endurance athletes (I reckon I lack both)
- rs7495174 green eye color and rs12913832 for blue eye color
- rs6152 can prevent baldness (this was discovered far too late for me)
- rs1805009 determines red hair (some “comedians” might suggest this be swapped to the second list below)
- rs17822931 determines earwax (and presumably how well your ears stay clear of insect infestation)
And, here’s the more sober list of SNPs that could have serious medical implications should you happen to discover you have one of these when you have your genome read by the likes of 23andMe.
- rs9939609 triggers obesity (not a genetic excuse for eating too much)
- rs662799 prevents weight gain from high fat diets (ditto)
- rs4420638 and rs429358 can raise the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by tenfold or more
- rs7903146 and rs12255372 linked to type-2 diabetes, the latter also to breast cancer
- rs324650 influences alcohol dependence, rs1799971 makes alcohol cravings stronger (it would not be funny to say, “Mine’s a pint, with a whisky chaser”, right now)