People who have taken the 23and Me V4 or V5 test (Nov. 2013 or later) qualify to receive new traits as they are introduced. Recently, I received a notification that 23andMe had introduced a ‘fear of speaking” trait.
This made me chuckle, because while I do get somewhat nervous about some aspects, such as equipment failure, I have no fear of public speaking itself. Neither did my mother who was a ballet dancer, nor do my children nor grandchildren.
Given this known history, I was curious to see what 23andme had to say.
Since I was taking a look anyway, I decided to rank the first two pages of my traits based on whether they were accurately predicted or not. I’ve marked them as correct or wrong.
By the way, I view these traits as “just for fun” but keep in mind that health predictions can be just as subject to inaccuracy. Genetics generally predicts possibilities and predispositions, with a few notable exceptions. For the most part, genetics is but one of multiple factors. There are likely genetic factors we haven’t yet discovered and when dealing with disease, personal lifestyle, environment and perhaps simply luck play a part too.
Let’s take a look at what 23andMe has to say about my traits. My evaluation is in the center.
I was uncertain about my hair texture being wavy versus curly.
Here’s my hair a few days ago, not curled by me – in its natural state – as I was preparing for filming a documentary. Fear of speaking not in evidence, but fear of makeup running in the heat and hair frizz was real!
At 23andMe, you can click on the links to any of these traits on your own results page and view the criteria, so let’s look at hair traits and what they have to say. Then I’ll let you decide about mine.
My Hair certainly isn’t straight, so we can rule that option out.
Next, they show the results of other participants with similar genetics.
I think we can eliminate everything except wavy and big curls which leave us split between the blue wavy which they claim I am more likely to have and the red “big curls” which they claim I am less likely to have.
23andMe explains how they arrived at my results. I think it’s very interesting that 75 locations in the human genome are involved in determining hair curl. It’s likely that even more will be discovered in the future.
According to this graphic, 30 of those 75 locations are irrelevant to my hair.
Given this scattering, it’s impossible to know which parent I inherited my hair curl from.
Now it’s your turn.
What do you think, based on my photo?
- Is this trait predicted accurately and I have “wavy hair?”
- Is this trait predicted inaccurately and I have “big curls” instead of “wavy hair?”
Let me know your opinion in the comments.
MyHeritage recently introduced a product that also provides you with ancestry PLUS health information. I’ve ordered that test and will review the results as compared to 23andMe when the results are in. You can order the MyHeritage DNA Ancestry plus Health test here.
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