Saturday, 17 May 2008

Choose your parents well

Dear spouse of mine watched a very interesting TV show some time ago, that I was unfortunately not able to see at the time, but was referred about very keenly so I had to google about it.

The programme was very interesting indeed, and I went through extensive research criss-crossing the Internet. As you might know, gene research has been going on for some time now and we learn more and more about genes and their effect on us as time goes by and I was surprised to hear that a gene mutation actually can be good for you!

I had always thought mutated and malformed genes were bad for you but no, not always, is the case so. In fact, possessing this particular mutated gene could save your life, and the lives of your children

About an average of 10% of the European population are estimated to have this mutation in their CCR5 gene. 16 % of the Finns and Russians and 14 % the Scandinavians possess the same gene.

This particular gene is called the CCR5 and the malformed itself has its’ own name, “Δ32”.

But first we have to leap back to the dark middle ages and then back to our time in order to understand what I am ranting about here. What was going on in the middle-ages? Well,” the black death” or the plague, was two thirds of the population of Europe and those with the mutated Δ32 inherited genomic sequence are those who survived, passing on their defect gene, which in this case was life saving, to their off-spring. Generations and generations passed by and then came the HIV-virus and AIDS.

You might now wonder where the connection is, if there is any at all, but I assure you that there is one.

Now comes the interesting part, the Finns are said to be resistant to HIV infection, but who wants to try it out on the entire population as they might be so absolutely wrong as they can be. According to research the possession of the Δ32 gene makes you of HIV if you inherit it doubly, that is from both your parents. If you have inherited only the half you are able to delay the onset of HIV once you’ve become infected.

So if you want to have unprotected sex and no worries about HIV, be aware of whom you chose as your parents and ancestors!

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