Interesting facts

Our genetic makeup determines our appearance (the colour of our hair and eyes, if we are tall or short) and how we respond to different external factors (nutrients, physical activities, medications). Our DNA can explain how we metabolize certain substances and how our body can lose and gain weight.

All blue-eyed people probably share a single, common ancestor, who had a genetic mutation between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago.

The Italian regions of Toscana and Umbria are special. The people there are genetically different from the other Italian regions because of Etruscan genetic heritage in this area.

Scientists believe that our longing for sweets is a biological preference that may have been designed to ensure our survival. The liking for sweet tastes in our ancient evolution may have ensured the acceptance of sweet-tasting foods, such as breast milk and vitamin-rich fruits. Moreover, recent research suggests that we crave sweets for their pain-reducing properties.

Only 2 percent of the human genome contains information regarding the formation of proteins. All the rest are so called non-coding regions.

The first carrots looked nothing like they do today. Originally, these vegetables were purple or white with a thin root. The orange carrots we know and eat today are the result of a genetic mutation in the late 16th century that won out over the original color.

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If you were to recite the entire ATCG sequence, pronouncing each of its 3 billion letters the genetic material notation is made of at a rate of 100 ATCG sequences per minute without sleeping, eating or drinking, you would cite for 57 years.

Approximately 8 percent of our DNA is derived from viruses that invaded our ancestors’ genomes and never left.

People share 7% of genetic material with the E.coli bacteria, 21% with worms, 90% with mice and 98% with chimpanzees.

African ethnic group Yoruba has an unusually high birth rate of twins, making it an interesting study group for research in the field of heritability.

There is genetic proof indicating that the Sans are one of oldest peoples in the world. They may well be the most ancient, and are considered to be a “genetic Adam”.

We still don’t know what the function of over 80% of human DNA is.

The full stop at the end of a sentence is the size of one thousand cell nuclei.

Two individuals share as much as 99.9% of the same genetic material and differ in only 0.1% of it.

If you would unravel all the chromosomes from all your cells (1014) and place the DNA end to end, the strands would stretch from the Earth to the moon about 6,000 times.

It takes about 8 hours for our cells to completely copy its DNA – as much time as we usually spent at work.  

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