Genetics and genomes are fascinating and have meant a lot for human health and understanding our makeup. To celebrate this amazing part of science and being a living organism, we at Genolevures would like to share a few interesting facts. There are so many interesting things about genetics and genomes that we had a hard time choosing the best ones. We hope you enjoy our end-selection.
- The structure of the DNA molecule was discovered decades ago. In 1953, the structure of the DNA molecule was discovered by James D Watson and Francis Crick. This means that the journey to discover genetics and DNA started more than 50 years ago.
- The human genome is amazing. We all know we have 46 chromosomes as humans. However, did you know that those 46 chromosomes are made up of 3 200 million base pairs? Yes, that is a fact – the human genome is made up of 3 200 million base pairs.
- Only a small number of cancers are genetic-related. Most of the cancers originate because of environmental factors. The rest (approximately 5 to 10%) is a result of genetic heritance. So, while genetics can definitely play a part and should be considered, your environment and what you eat, drink and do play a bigger part.
- We may be genetically programmed not to live longer than 120 years. In theory, scientists think that us humans have the genetic coding that prevents us from getting older than 120 years of age. This is due to a limited amount of times that cells can divide.
- We share more genetic material than you may think. Two people can share as much as 99.9% of the same genetic material. That is a mind-blowing fact. Just think about it. The person sitting next to you could be made up of almost the exact same genetics as you.
- Europeans are HIV resistant. The plagues that plagued European countries in the middle ages have made a small percentage of Europeans resistant to the HIV virus. This is because of a genetic mutation caused by the plagues. Approximately 10% of Europeans carry this mutation and are resistant to HIV.
- We share genetic similarities with several unexpected species. Humans and chimpanzees share 98% of the same genetic material. We also share 21% of our genetic makeup with mice and 7% with E. coli bacteria. How’s that for mind-boggling?