Exploring Genetics

Gabriella Korosi

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Road to the beachGabriella Korosi

Exploration of our genetic makeup by Dr. Gabriella Korosi.

What does generics mean to you? Genetics can mean different things for different people. It can be explored throughout looking for connections for family members. An example would be people who have been adopted, looking for relatives. Another way to explore genetics it's the look at the medical implication, potential complications based on genetic sequencing. an example would be to look for genes that show a likelihood of developing cancer. This can be very important especially if somebody has a family member who had developed cancer before. Genetic information can be also used for family planning. Certain diseases can be inherited from the father or the mother or both.

Genetics can also tell us about many different things that would be good to know to live a healthier lifestyle. An example would be that genetics can show us allergies to foods and environmental elements as well as energy is related to animals.

Currently, in Oregon, there is an option to get free genetic testing for certain diseases and cancers by the Healthy Oregon Project (HOP). It is an application that you can download to your phone and request a kit to be sent to you at home. Once you received your kit there are step-by-step instructions on how to send your DNA sample Healthy Oregon Project. This is part of a research project with a collaboration of multiple partners including the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Providence Cancer Institute, Oregon Health, and Science University Knight Cancer Institute (OHSU), University of Oregon, OCHIN, and Kaiser Permanente cancer for Health Research. There are also surveys to participate in to help future research that is available in the HOP app.

I participated in the Healthy Oregon Project to find out if I have any predisposition for diseases or cancer. When I received the sample packet the instructions were clear and simple to follow. Interestingly the sample that I had to provide was mouthwash mixed with my saliva. Previously in genetic testing, I have used the swab to send the genetic sample in. I have received my results that showed that the Healthy Oregon Project tested 32 of my genes to look for cancers or other diseases. The genes they tested for HOP2 In Inherited cancer and cardiological diseases. HOP received my sample in the middle of October, and I received my test results on December 9th. My test results were negative and The results stated that I do not have a significant predisposition and risk for developing cancer or high cholesterol or heart disease. The results do not mean that I would never develop cancer. The results rule out the genetic predisposition of cancer. Other things like environment living conditions lifestyle choices and family history are also relevant indicators of disease and cancer development.

I was informed that the testing was done at OHSU integrated genomics lab in Portland, Oregon. the testing used is the standard nucleic acid extraction method. There's always a limitation to genetic testing because of gene variations. The HOP project might continue further testing in the future of the previously submitted genetic sample to test for additional diseases.

I am grateful that this option was available. It is good to know if we have a genetic predisposition for a disease or not. It helps with creating peace of mind especially if there's heart disease and cancer history in the family.

There is a lot we know about genetics and a lot that we still don’t know and are being explored. Genetics are very complicated. there's a lot more to explore and learn about our genetic makeup that goes beyond science. There are some questions when it comes to epigenetics what we remember and how does our history had imprinted on our current lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes epigenetics as something that happened in the past that influences our health. Per the CDC epigenetic effects are reversible and genetic effects or not. Epigenetic changes happened before we are born. An example of epigenetics would be how your cells decide what day will it become. Epigenetic cells change throughout our life. One example is looking at smokers and their epigenetics. While smoking the DNA methylation is decreased, and after a person stops smoking the DNA methylation changes back to normal levels. This process might take up to one year (CDC).

Weinhold in his article “Epigenetics: the science of change” describes epigenetics “in addition to changes in the genetic sequence”. Weinhold further explains that epigenetics do not change the DNA sequence but alters the gene activity that can be transmitted to daughter cells.

Numerous questions come up when we talk about genetics. Is it a genetic memory that is tied into our DNA? If it is can, we change the effects of our genetic makeup by retraining ourselves that we are safe to get past fear and trauma from the past?

I had done genetic testing through CRI genetics that revealed my ancestry back into 57 generations to approximately 545 A.D.- 605 A.D. They were able to determine that my Iberian ancestor lived around 575 A.D. from a segment of my 6th chromosome.

Additional ancestors were found from 50 generations back, Peruvian descent with a 99% accuracy from 720 A.D – 780 A.D. also on chromosome 6. These two were the oldest ancestors found in my genetic makeup. It is fascinating to know where my ancestors come from and how mixed everyone is even if we think we might not. Before doing the analysis, I had no idea I had ancestors from the British Isles, N.W. Europe, Toscani Italian, Iberian, Northern European, Punjabi, and Bengali 13 generations back, Columbian, Gujarati Indian, and Kinh Vietnamese.

Genetic analysis can show a complete breakdown of your genotype. I am a mixture of many in one. The highest percentage is European, next to South Asian, mixed American, East Asian, and finally African.

Besides the ancestry, genetic analysis, and finding out where we are from genetic analysis can also tell you personality traits. Anything from the mathematical ability to motion sickness and how thick your hair might be. You can receive as much detail as mosquito bite-size and find out if you have an asparagus smell in your urine.

When it comes to health and wellness you can get very detailed information that can help you understand your body better anything from caffeine absorption to sleep movement or your triglyceride levels. You can also learn information about your ability to absorb different vitamins and learn more about your metabolism and allergies. I was able to learn from my genetic analysis that I am likely to experience seasonal allergies related to plant pollen. All the information shows a high or low likelihood to have a certain trait or allergy for example. Genetic analysis can provide you with tips on how to treat your body better and be healthy.

Thank you for reading,

Gabriella

Dancing Elephants Press December 14, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

References

CDC (2020) retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/disease/epigenetics.htm#:~:text=Epigenetics%20is%20the%20study%20of,body%20reads%20a%20DNA%20sequence

CRI Genetics retrieved from https://www.crigenetics.com/

Healthy Oregon Project (2021) Retrieved from https://healthyoregonproject.com/

A wonderful DNA activation with Solara Rose to bring abundance, love, joy, happiness, positivity into your life. https://soundcloud.com/solarasophiarose/diamond-dna-power-activation?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing

Weinhold B. (2006). Epigenetics: the science of change. Environmental health perspectives, 114(3), A160–A167. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.114-a160

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