Humankind’s scientific achievements reached new statures when we finally pieced together the complete human genome. As scientists delve deeper into the world of genetics, they discover how our DNA profoundly influences our personality, lifestyle, and well-being. Our genetic makeup holds the key to the mysteries of our vulnerability to particular illnesses or predisposition to certain behaviors. That’s why the study of synthetic biology has now become a vital tool for overcoming ailments and pandemics.
As our understanding of the complicated realm of genes and DNA continues to grow, we’ll find more ways to improve our health by tweaking our genetic makeup.
This article reveals eight fascinating ways our DNA affects our overall well-being. So, you can say that your genotype determines a lot of your attributes. Let’s take a look at these in detail.
It’s a no-brainer that your physical traits, such as height, eye/hair color, and other attributes, are closely connected to your genetic makeup. Several genetic variations are responsible for how you look, sound, and behave. Similarly, dimples, freckles, tongue rolling, and many other features come from a person’s genotype.
Another curious feature governed by one’s genetic makeup is handedness. Genes decide if you are left-handed, and left-handed people are vulnerable to different diseases, for instance:
- Breast cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Psychotic disorders
Your genetic makeup determines your immune system’s endurance against pathogens and diseases. Some people are born with good immunity, while others struggle with it since birth due to their unique genotype. However, genetic engineering has devised different ways to strengthen our immune system. Gene or DNA synthesis is a popular field of research in molecular biology. It allows biologists to obtain customized DNA constraints with 100% accuracy and no contamination.
Gene synthesis helps us better understand our genome, improve therapeutics, and manufacture more effective vaccines. In fact, the mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer were made thanks to the post-pandemic research on DNA synthesis.
However, molecular biologists must consider reliable gene synthesis services by checking reviews, testimonials, and quality assurance certificates.
Many people are genetically predisposed to certain diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and autoimmune disorders. That’s because your DNA determines your vulnerability to such ailments; if you have particular genetic variations, you can be more at risk of developing different chronic illnesses. For instance, some dangerous genetic variations include:
Data shows that 45% to 72% of women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations will develop breast cancer in their seventies.
If you inherited KLF14 or ENPP1 mutations from your parents, you have a 30% more chance of developing diabetes.
However, you can still overcome these genetic predispositions by leading a healthy lifestyle. Consume nutritious meals, exercise regularly, and keep your annual medical checkups to stay healthy. A healthy lifestyle decreases your chances of developing diabetes and other ailments.
Inherited ailments are generally incurable. However, you can still manage the symptoms while suffering from these genetic diseases.
Many other diseases are affected by your genes indirectly. Studies have shown 40% of diseases come from your genetic makeup. Some diseases directly caused by your genotype include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Sickle-cell anemia
- Huntington’s disease
- Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Are mental disorders, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, heritable? Yes and no. Yes, 50% of your depression is caused by certain genetic mutations. But 50% of it comes from your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Genetic depression is treatable with personalized treatment options. Some popular ways to treat your depression and overcome this hereditary predilection include:
- Get as much sleep as needed
- Lie in the sun to get Vitamin D
- Exercise to boost your serotonin levels
- Meditate, do yoga, and practice mindfulness
- Don’t consume caffeinated beverages excessively
Your genotype determines your vulnerability to certain age-related illnesses, the most prominent of which is Alzheimer’s. For instance, the APOE mutation raises your chances of developing this issue. Having one copy of the APOE4 gene means you’re 2 to 3 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. However, having two copies of that gene makes you 12 times more vulnerable to this disease. But you can still evade Alzheimer’s while carrying this gene by taking some necessary precautions.
Lower your chances of getting dementia and Alzheimer’s by eating healthy meals, socializing with your folks, exercising regularly, and never smoking/drinking. If you carry the APOE4 gene, a Mediterranean diet (fish, fruits, and veggies) will help you stay mentally healthy.
Some genetic variations you’ve inherited from your forefathers also affect your academic and athletic skills. While the presence of ROBO1 means you’re good at mathematics, the mutation ACTN3 boosts your athletic abilities. In other words, whether you’re introverted, extroverted, academically oriented, or athletically built, your genetic makeup controls it all.
But here’s the catch: Pro-athletics genes bolster your endurance, strength, and susceptibility to sports-related injuries; however, they also make you more vulnerable to developing addictions. That’s a curious link between your DNA and overall health!
Your genotype is responsible for your personality traits more than you can imagine. Experts are slowly revealing fascinating information about how your DNA determines what sort of foods you prefer, what kind of hobbies you admire, and other interesting stuff. For instance, certain genetic tweaks determine whether you’re a tea drinker or a coffee lover. Your DNA governs how much exercise you like and if you lean toward competitive sports or solitary workout routines.
Researchers have followed a “hobby gene” in some people by looking at the favored pastimes of their ancestors. So, if your ancestors were biased toward a certain leisurely pursuit, chances are you’d like to engage in that same activity, even if you do not realize it.
Understanding an individual’s genetic makeup plays a significant role in shaping their interests, behaviors, and susceptibility to various diseases. By deciphering the information encoded in our DNA, it becomes possible to enhance our ability to defend against numerous ailments.
Synthetic biology offers a means for biotechnicians to develop personalized healthcare strategies. This involves investigating the profound influence of our genetic code on our overall well-being.