50 Fascinating Facts about DNA and Genes – Part 2

1Bajau People Mutation

Bajau People Mutation

A rare mutation among the Bajau people of Southeast Asia lets them stay underwater longer. Natural selection at the PDE10A gene has increased the spleen size in the Bajau, providing them with a larger reservoir of oxygenated red blood cells.

2. A rare kind of mutation in the LRP5 gene can cause your bones to become super dense and thereby fill life with inconveniences such as sinking like a rock and walking away from automobile accidents without a single fracture.

3. Because of a lucky genetic mutation that happened in the 18th century, today 38 people in a small town in northern Italy (Limone) don't suffer from cholesterol artery-clogging, making them virtually immune to heart disease and strokes. They all smoke, they eat a lot, and they don’t care.

4. There is a happiness gene called ‘5-HTT’ in our genome that affects how happy we are.

5. Cri Du Chat (cat's cry) Syndrome is caused by the partial deletion of chromosome 5. This disorder causes children to have a high-pitched cry similar to a cat.

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6Tree Man Syndrome

Tree Man Syndrome

Tree man syndrome is a rare gene mutation that makes people highly susceptible to HPV. Sufferers tend to uncontrollably grow warts resembling tree bark from head to toe. In one case, one man had 95% of his warts (13 pounds) surgically removed, but they grew back and he eventually died from the condition.

7. There is a tribe in Zimbabwe called Vadoma. A substantial minority of them are two-toed. It is due to a mutation on chromosome number 7.

8. There is a family in Italy named Marsili which cannot feel pain due to a rare genetic mutation. Family members can suffer burns and broken bones while feeling virtually no pain and they do not need any sort of anesthesia during surgery.

9. If you inherit two mutated versions of the MC1R-gene, you end up ginger. If you only inherit one, then you may end up with a red beard, but dark hair.

10. A geneticist at Utah State University has created "Spider-Goats." He took the gene that encodes dragline silk from an orb-weaver spider and placed it among the DNA that prompts milk production in a goat's udders. The silk produced from its milk is stronger than Kevlar and is suitable for ligament repairs.