back to article It's official! Register hack is an alcohol-flushed cave dweller

It's official: this Reg hack is 2.7 per cent Neanderthal, belongs to the J1c3b haplogroup, is at increased risk of coronary heart disease and Restless Legs Syndrome, has wet ear wax, and slightly decreased odds of suffering male pattern baldness. That's according to the enlightening results of a personal genome test by 23andMe …

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  1. Hieronymus Howerd

    Restless Legs Syndrome is just an excuse really, really annoying people use to avoid having to change their ways.

    "It's a medical condition, honest, look it's on WIkipedia".

    Pull the other one (pun intended).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please explain what you mean Hieronymus Howerd. Are you implying there is a cure/remedy? If so I would like to know because it makes my nights hell.

      1. IR

        If it helps, I am able to stop my restless legs by getting my feet very cold. Stick them on ice (or in my case the garage floor) for 5-10 minutes and it completely goes away.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      fwiw RLS is closely associated as a symptom with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, which is vastly underdiagnosed in the general population.

    3. ian 22
      Pint

      Restless legs?

      I'm legless and leaves me bloody shattered. Shirley the NHS can do something for me.

  2. Schultz
    1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

      Re: But are you a Hun?

      Schultz» But are you a Hun?

      Well, I do have a propensity to wear furry hats and have strange dreams about charging about on horseback. I also get hot and bothered by unreasonable houseowners lying in front of my bulldozers, although may not be related to the topic in question.

      1. Magnus_Pym
        Happy

        Re: But are you a Hun?

        Congratulations you win the Douglas Adams quote of the day prize - The, dare I say it, DNA award.

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Anything you didn't know?

    So you are a european white male whose parents haven't died of anything nasty.

    1. Martin 47

      Re: Anything you didn't know?

      Actually he is a European white male whose parents haven't died of anything nasty who is now at risk of higher life insurance premiums

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Anything you didn't know?

        > now at risk of higher life insurance premiums

        But can probably qualify for a better retirement annuity rate.

        There's always a silver lining...

  4. jai

    tempted

    i'm tempted, curiosity/cat/homicide and all that. but would it be a mistake to know this stuff?

    would i suddenly become paranoid to discover i have an increase chance of heart attack, and then the stress which that knowledge induces could be the cause for my eventual cardiac arrest?

    1. Alister
      Boffin

      Re: tempted

      i'm tempted, curiosity/cat/homicide and all that. but would it be a mistake to know this stuff?

      would i suddenly become paranoid to discover i have an increase chance of heart attack, and then the stress which that knowledge induces could be the cause for my eventual cardiac arrest?

      Only you know the answer to that, however, let's try a little experiment...

      Come over here and sit down, there's something I need to tell you...

      No, I really think it would be best if you sit down first...

      Now look, you know you sent off for that DNA test a while ago, well...

      1. Melzeebub92

        Re: tempted

        @Alister

        .....you are not the father!

        (That was where you were going right?)

    2. SirDigalot
      Coat

      Re: tempted

      if you do it and put the results in a sealed box, you can be both in cardiac arrest and not at the same time, technically immortal

      <<< I getting it, but you mentioned cats and homicide, how could I not go there

    3. peyton?

      Re: tempted

      Ahh - but will you actually discover you have an increased risk of something? Even if your results say so, many of the studies relied on report correlation, not causation. How can you be certain it's not just statistical noise that flagged gene X for disease Y? (google "GWAS usefuleness" for more on this). Or maybe you carry a gene that cancels out the risk caused by X, but the study that identifies that has yet to be conducted.

      So criticisms are not just about keeping the paranoid person with the alleged Alzheimer's risk from offing themself at 60. We still know so little about ourselves, your report could very well include misleading information.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: tempted

        Even if your results say so, many of the studies relied on report correlation, not causation. How can you be certain it's not just statistical noise that flagged gene X for disease Y?

        Not to mention epigenetic effects, which this sort of testing completely ignores. The more we learn about gene expression, the more we realize just how hugely overstated the discourse around genetic destiny is.

        And then there's the possibility that the lab made an error in testing or reporting.

        Didn't Orlowski write an article some time back bashing this sort of genetic testing as modern snake oil? A bit overstated (as usual), perhaps, but not so very far off. Certainly before I'd take any significant action on any information obtained this way, I'd want 1) a second test from a second lab, and 2) substantial consultations with a geneticist who's up on current research (including epigenetics and environmental factors) and a specialist in the relevant area.

        Of course, people routinely make life-changing (and -ending) decisions based on all sorts of misinformation, superstition, and outright stupidity, so the genetic-testing route is hardly the worst one they could take.

    4. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: tempted

      Well If I'd known I was at a higher risk of getting heart disease, perhaps I could have had statin drugs given to me years ago to prevent fat build ups along with regular BP monitering and a touch more exercise and a bit less beer.

      Instead its find out the not quite so bad way (during a dye test) that I've got a 95% blockage on the left artery as opposed to the really bad way(waking up in hospital with a zapper attatched to you) or the horrid way (waking up inside a wooden box thats getting hotter and hotter)

      Take your pick.....

    5. uncle sjohie

      Re: tempted

      I was born with a heart defect, but I was successfully operated at the age of three, and have been proclaimed healthy by my cardiologist. Still, 35 years after the operation, the occasional pain/cramp in my chest like everybody else has once in a while, makes me wonder.... So knowing isn't always a good thing in my book.

      And with the current medical diagnostic possibilities, they can find something minutely wrong in anybody. But that doesn't say anything about a cure for what they found.

  5. Annihilator Silver badge
    Pint

    I wonder if this could be expanded

    Forget about the DNA test results, I'd pay $99 for the rights to flob into a tube and post it to, say, some politicians?

    Maybe a price sheet could be knocked up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I wonder if this could be expanded

      " I'd pay $99 for the rights to flob into a tube"

      Does 'flob' have only one meaning in this context?

      1. swampdog

        Re: I wonder if this could be expanded

        " I'd pay $99 for the rights to flob into a tube"

        'Does 'flob' have only one meaning in this context?'

        I'd hope so. You'd not want to flob into a tube under another meaning & send to, say, Anne Widdecome?

        I now need to throw up!

  6. Elmer Phud
    Thumb Up

    Cheap

    Considering what some people pay for a horoscope you've done well there.

    Actually, even if the horoscope cost a fiver you're still quids in.

  7. Leedos
    Thumb Up

    I picked the same DNA lab.

    I received a couple of kits for my wife and I a few days ago. I originally was looking at Geno 2.0 from NatGeo, but ended up going with 23andMe because they seemed to provide more results than just ancestry and for half the cost. My wife was adopted, so she has always wondered about her lineage and possible family related illness like breast cancer. I bought her a test kit as a birthday gift so she could find out a bit more about herself since she can't ask her parents. I also ordered one for myself so we could find out what we may have passed on to our children. I'm eagerly awaiting the results, it seems they provide quite a bit of info.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cystic Fibrosis

    IIRC there over twenty DNA variants that produce the symptoms collectively called Cystic Fibrosis. As the author says - inheriting any combination from both parents produces the full blown CF condition.

    It would be interesting to know if the author's test identifies all these variants - summarised with the one tick box.

    The CF affected body produces a thick mucous that messes up respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. Even some "carriers" who only inherited one copy can have fertility problems. On the positive side it conveys some immunity to typhoid - which probably accounts for its survival in the gene pool. Any truly "bad" gene variant soon gets filtered out of the pool. In the same way - Sickle Cell Anaemia carriers have some immunity to malaria.

    The underlying CF malfunction is in sodium ion transport through cells. The mechanism problem can be entry to the cell; getting it across the cell; or exiting from the cell.

    It gets complicated - in the case of exiting the cell it may be that the "gate" doesn't "open" - or that the "gate" is in the wrong place on the cell surface.

    The different variants have been used to track historical population movements. One variant, G551D, is known as the "Celtic" variant - because the mutation first occurred in someone in Scotland. Its worldwide distribution maps the Scottish diaspora and only accounts for 5% of the CF sufferers. However - it is the first variant for which a "miracle" treatment has just gone into general distribution. Apparently people on the critical lung transplant list have taken the twice a day tablet of Kalydeco - and within three weeks started running and swimming.

    This not a treatment of the symptoms - but an innovative fix at the cell level that makes the exit "gate" work correctly. This new line of research gives hope for cell level mechanism fixes for many other conditions - like Type 2 Diabetes.

  9. IR
    Meh

    Neanderthal DNA

    Humans have only 1-4% of Neanderthal DNA? Don't we have 97% of a chimpanzee DNA? And 20% of a potato or something? These must be using different ways to calculate the percentage but it's not clear what.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neanderthal DNA

      We have 97% of our DNA in common with chimps, but have 0% that originated in that species because we have never inbred with chimpanzees. We have 1-4% of the actual DNA that originated in the Neanderthals because our ancestors interbred with them.

      That's not to say a few of our more deviant ancestors didn't try to interbreed with chimps, but if they did, they didn't produce any viable offspring...no matter how often your Uncle Harold scratches his ass.

      1. Vic
        Joke

        Re: Neanderthal DNA

        > we have never inbred with chimpanzees.

        You've never been to Basingstoke, then?

        Vic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Neanderthal DNA

      Actually, not all humans share some Neanderthal DNA - only those groups who migrated out of Africa (according to the last report I read on the matter) - and then interbred with the much older groups who had preceded them.

    3. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Neanderthal DNA

      The claim is commonly made that our DNA differs from chimps by less than 4%, or 1% depending on who you ask. In a sense is an irrelevant statistic; whilst we share 97% with chimps we also share about 50% of our genetic code with the humble banana, and about 98% with piggies.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Neanderthal DNA

        we also share about 50% of our genetic code with the humble banana

        And slightly more with the rarer conceited banana.

        Of course the real question is which 50%. I've never obtained definitive proof, but I know a few people who bear more than a passing resemblance to the vestigial reproductive organs of giant rhizomatic herbs.

    4. Grikath

      Re: Neanderthal DNA

      If you take the high count, we actually share something like 99% of our DNA with our expired cousins, which follows from their proper name: Homo Sapiens Neanderthalensis. ( the fact that there is genetic evidence of successful interbreeding makes the case for Neanderthals being a subspecies instead of a separate species.)

      Part of the 1% difference still lives on in our genome in certain genetic lines to the point of 1-4% of those specific traits still surviving, although there's precious little to be found on those genes actually being expressed at one stage or another, and what those genes actually do.

  10. Trustme
    Thumb Up

    Congratulations!

    If anyone at 23andMe ever wants to commit murder, they now have your DNA to leave at the crime scene.

  11. Arachnoid
    WTF?

    Neanderthal DNA

    Theres an advert being aired on UK radio that states humans have 50% DNA of a banana.......go figure

    1. RonWheeler

      Re: Neanderthal DNA

      The skin or the bit inside?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Neanderthal DNA

        "The skin or the bit inside?"

        Of the banana, or of the human?

    2. A J Stiles
      Boffin

      Re: Neanderthal DNA

      Any two samples of DNA must have at least 50% in common, just due to the way that base pairs work.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I had my DNA and my son's tested, would 23andMe's results confirm paternity?

    Where's the icon for paranoid?

    1. Wzrd1

      "If I had my DNA and my son's tested, would 23andMe's results confirm paternity?"

      Well, I've heard of some lab results that would show that one isn't related to oneself, when submitting two samples from one individual.

      There *is* the quality of the lab to consider.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you seriously don't want to see my eyebrows!

    So stop laughing, I have to.

  14. Steve 114
    FAIL

    Crossborder Sting

    Have you seen how much they add on-line to post their spit-kit out of the USA? (even just over the border to Canada)? That's silly, because to get plentiful comparative results from Eeur-op, where most USians' ancestors came from, they'd really have to tempt us. Meanwhile, 'FTDNA' still looks the pro alternative.

  15. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    So what do they do with *their* copy of the data?

    Given we've seen Apple retain voice samples for 2 years and DNA studies work better with a big sample group of suckers volunteers. Do you trust a corporation more than a government?

    Do you really need to ask why the icon?

    1. JohnG

      Re: So what do they do with *their* copy of the data?

      I wonder if these US based DNA labs get any subsidy or other recompense from the NSA or similar branches of the US government.

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: So what do they do with *their* copy of the data?

        "I wonder if these US based DNA labs get any subsidy or other recompense from the NSA or similar branches of the US government."

        Nope, not from the NSA. The NSA does crypto and code breaking, not medical stuff like DNA. That would be the NIH.

        And probably DHS...

  16. Anonymous IV
    Holmes

    Repeatable?

    One assumes that you've done the test twice, with different names and postal addresses and other details?

    Let us know the comparative results!

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Repeatable?

      There is that risk, there is also the risk of undetected chimerism.

      A woman was arrested, charged, tried and convicted for kidnapping a baby.

      Much later, another DNA test was performed and her maternity was confirmed and she was released. After several years in prison.

      Turns out she absorbed part of a twin and the cervical cells that the state used for the DNA test were from the absorbed twin.

  17. Scroticus Canis
    Big Brother

    Oops About Neanderthal DNA! Change this quick Lester

    Africans (negroid racial group) do not have any Neanderthal DNA as their ancestors never got to meet any Neanderthals.

    You might consider rewording the "All modern humans contain between one and four per cent Neanderthal DNA,..." sentence a bit before the thought police come knocking on your door.

    1. J 3

      Re: Oops About Neanderthal DNA! Change this quick Lester

      Not necessarily. The original Africans did not go to meet the Neanderthals (nor vice versa), but do you think no one else has come back to Africa bringing those genes? Do you think all Africans have been sealed off genetically from the rest of humanity since some of them went to Europe? They sure haven't, and it's not due to modern transportation...

      1. Scroticus Canis
        Holmes

        @J3 - Re: Oops About Neanderthal DNA! Change this quick Lester

        Well J3 I didn't want to provide a pedantic lecture but before recent times (<15,000 years ago) there would have been very little cross racial mixing with Africans. Obviously since the movement of caucasians into northern Africa there has been some, same as with any historical boundary between the main racial-geographic areas (Slavic looks, Tuaregs, etc... for example). Since the European period of colonization it has of course spread globally. Like wise the Denisovian DNA from the Far East.

        As you are no doubt aware there is more genetic diversity among black Africans than there is amongst the rest of the human race in its entirety. Reason, of the 13-14 progenitor families/tribes which gave rise to modern humans only one made it out of Africa and survived, the rest remained African.

        Some white people don't have any Neanderthal DNA at all, Michael Jackson for example.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Oops About Neanderthal DNA! Change this quick Lester

      They do however share some DNA with another extinct group that lived around the same time in Africa http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-07-26/national/35487288_1_denisovans-neanderthal-dna-modern-humans

  18. Popup
    Boffin

    Mandatory xkcd reference

    http://xkcd.com/830/

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