How-To: Do Your Own Self DNA Study

A good while back, we made the decision to have our DNA run by 23andme.com.  It was $99 a person.

Took a while.  Sequencing DNA is not a fast technology, but it’s a cool technology.  Like 3D printing in a sense:  cool but not yet fast.

Eventually – a month back, or so – we received the basic summary of results.  But, that’s just where the real fun begins…

(Continues below)

 

Your DNA is huge.  The text file of each of our data is on the order of 5.7 megabytes.  There’s no way on earth this makes any sense, either….without computational help.

There are lots of approaches, but to begin sorting things out, we decided to go light on the budget and pay $10 bucks each to toss our data into www.promethease.com.

It’s important to understand the process here, so let me run through it.

You select an organization to actually do the sequencing.  23andme.com and ancestry.com are popular.

Now you wait for the DNA “spit kit” to show up.  About a week, here.

When it does, you will need to spit what seems like gallons of spit (let’s about a tablespoon, or less, but you’ll get dry-mouth so take your time and think of lemons and pickles…).  Mail in the kit.

In 4-7 weeks, you will get the email saying your results have been run.

Now you go to the website and download your DNA as a standard text file laid out in a standard way.

Next, you select whose report you want.  We did Promethease (cheap) but there are lots to chose from (Self-DeCode and more) but from what I figured, most of the report generators were basing their reports on the content of www.snpedia.com.

Their website describes their mission as:

“SNPedia is a wiki investigating human genetics. We share information about the effects of variations in DNA, citing peer-reviewed scientific publications. It is used by Promethease to create a personal report linking your DNA variations to the information published about them. Please see the SNPedia:FAQ for answers to common questions.”

SNPedia is interesting as hell, but they don’t process your file.

Which is why the Self-DeCode and Prometheus and….sites exit.

Going to the Promethease site, you agree to a bunch of checkmarks and then pop in a credit card ($10) and upload (*from your computer where you downloaded the 23andme results) to your local computer.

Then you wait because it can in some cases take 20 minutes for your DNA file to upload, look at that file, and pull out the proper results from the huge (and still growing) library of conditions connected with specific DNA types.

Finally, you download the Promethease results onto your computer, and extract the zip file.

What’s in the zip?  The way the data is arranged, you are able to get a “quickie/highlights” view (mine was 10-20 pages) and at the bottom of that it says 2X – which gets into more details.

And when you do that, you can 2X again – several times in fact – until you have around a hundred pages of details.

The basic report, though is a good starting point.  The results tell you (in descending order of importance) what the sample and the report figure your most significant health risks are.

For example, I already knew that I had an elevated chance of getting Alzheimer’s (because my father died of it at age 87) and yes, that is why we’re into the Alzheimer’s dietary, supplement, and lifestyle changes that seem to minimize the advancement of the disease.  Missing starches, already!

2x risk of Alzheimer’s disease You carry one APOE-?3 allele and one APOE-?4 allele. This results in 2x increased relative risk of Alzheimer’s disease. For non-caucasians the risk is increased, but SNPedia has not yet seen any reliable estimates. This is based on
• rs429358(C;T)
• rs7412(C;C)

Not a particularly happy report, but that’s my “worst risk” from the DNA perspective.  Besides, with word this morning of progress on attacking the apoE4 gene in the body to neutralize its effects, there is reason to continue following the End of Alzheimer’s recommendations  (KetoFlex 12/3 a “flexarian” diet) and wait for science to issue what in software would be a “hot-fix” or “patch” for my DNA.  Meat as a condiment, though? Down on starches and up on veggies…

Note to self: Remain cogent enough to realize when the patch is available!

My next major genome findings were OK with me:  I’m a slow metabolizer of NSAIDS and I’ve got a 7X higher risk of male pattern baldness.  From there we go into a hundred pages of details.

It’s important to understand the statistics a bit.

For example, when I read that I have a 2X risk, I’m guided by first knowing (from separate web research) that “One in ten people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer’s disease. About one-third of people age 85 and older (32 percent) have Alzheimer’s disease.”

In my case, that sort of implies that my odds of Alzheimer’s 15-years out, would be on the order of 64%.  But in 15-years, will there be a pill to neutralize the gene?  And what about those coronary artery diseases?  Big progress there, too.

BUT that’s why we ran our DNA’s.  It confirms what I already knew (since dad had it, I might) and it underscores the lifestyle and eating changes to reduce risks.

The bonus points:  Running your body in the Alzheimer’s-reducing light-ketosis envelope is also how to lose significant weight.

All that said, the data is somewhat contradictory in that I have 112 markers that relate to Alzheimer’s – and some of them are good….really, really good.  Like this one:

“rs5882(A;G)
Lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Higher good cholesterol. One copy of a longevity gene. This seems to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Which gets me down to the bottom line personally:  My odds of making it to 100 are low –  less than 20% if I’m following the report correctly.  Since there’s still nuclear war on the timeline out in 2022-2024, hell, I’m in the home stretch.

BUT, knowing what’s in the report has helped me to clarify my relationship with the bag of skin and bones that the “MOG” (mind of George) currently inhabits:

You see, the DNA is like having your own “internal baseball team.”  You’ve got some very good players  (anything in the report with a green margin around it, or saying things like “rs3851179(A;G) — 0.85x decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease” is good)..

But, you also have (on your DNA team) some players who are very bad.  Those are the DNA sequences with the red borders around them.

Every morning when your feet hit the floor, the World Series of Life (inside, at the DNA level) begins.

This morning, I’ll have bacon, eggs, and fried potatoes (in coconut oil!).

One of our bad DNA players comes to bat:

“rs1333049(C;G)
1.5x increased risk for CAD 1.5x higher risk for coronary artery disease”

It’s a swing and a miss!  Next batter?  Ah, one of our good ones…

“rs1746048(C;T)
0.94 decreased risk for coronary heart disease”

Waffle for dessert?

As it turns out, there are more “bad players” on the coronary artery disease team than there are good ones…welcome to being a northern European male, huh?

This may all sound silly, but it’s how your food, nutrition, rest – and in the case of Alzheimer’s prevention – even the time you load on B vitamins and melatonin that matters.

So is it worth $110 bucks?  Oh yeah, I think so because there’s more to the report.  For example, you get (up to) several pages of how you genetically are expected to react to various medications:

There are several pages which will be printed off for my doctor to ponder.  Since my doctor is younger than me, I expect my medication reactions ought to be something he’d want to have in file.

That way, at age 93, or so, when I’m wheeled into the hospital with coronary issues, my doc will be able to say to the cardiologist “Yes, we expected something like this…”

To which, the cardiologist would ask “What did he eat today?”

Said something about bacon and eggs and DNA Baseball that didn’t make sense.  May have Alzheimer’s…”

Or, an oncoming car on a county road with a drunk driver at the wheel could take me out.  Or, lightning while I’m cranking down the ham radio tower…. High voltage shock from a linear amplifier when not “fully present” mentally while working on one?

Risks are everywhere.  And one day, one of them, will get me. So far, I’ve beaten auto risks, flying/pilot risks, motorcycle risks, offshore sailing risks…see the point?

Yes, it was worth the $110 bucks.  It doesn’t change the fact we’re all going to die.  But, it does narrow our “medical suspect list” a bit and helps make informed lifestyle decisions.

OK, so DNA Baseball is about to get underway over at the house.  Time to park the keyboard.  Someone out in rural east Texas is probably already drunk.  Trade war becomes depression becomes war with China by 2024….so, uh, yeah….let’s keep this all in context.

Strip of bacon?

Write when you get rich<

George@ure.net

Comments

How-To: Do Your Own Self DNA Study — 28 Comments

  1. Off topic- We have some of the most arrogant pedestrians I’ve ever seen in the city I luve in. They seem to believe theyre privileged. Ive observed on many occasions, a pedestrian and sometimes a mother with a baby stroller, just walk up to a cross walk and begin crossing a busy street without even looking for traffic. I thought to myself these people are either idiots or hoping for a big settlement if theyre hit or in the case of the mothers with strollers, hate being a mother and want to get out of their motherhood and cash in on it through the motorist insurance. The arrogance of these pedestrians astounds me and other people I’ve spoken to have also noticed this.

    A recent letter to the editor noted the very same thing I’m expressing here. The author was wondering if kids are being taught in school the old method of crossing a street, stop look listen, look again then cross when its safe. Apparently theyre not as most of these people Ive noticed have been under 30.

    Ive heard during the great depression, people would deliberately get hit by a car for the insurance.

    • We have noticed the same. In our city, if a pedestrian is hit crossing the street in a non designated street crossing, it is their fault. I wouldn’t test it though.
      It is quite arrogant to watch them play chicken with their lives. I think this celebrity madness has gone to their brains.
      They get their importance from stopping traffic!

  2. Long ago I put a drop of my blood on a page and claimed patent and copyright on my own DNA and genome and mailed it to myself for the date stamp. The sealed envelope is in my files. Any infractions or unauthorized usage will result in a $10 million liability.

    I would never get a DNA test without the express directive that it is a limited license to use only as directed, and not for sale or transfer to third parties. See $10 million liability above. Of course the bastards will share the stuff anyway, but some lawyer would get rich off my case if I ever discovered it.

    No, the potential for abuse is just too great. I know my family genetics rather well and we have some healthy longevity I’m quite happy about. I also do some intelligent and well informed supplementation to improve my chances as much as I am able. I don’t feel the need to become a shared entry in someone’s database.

  3. Anne E. Wojcicki, 23 and Me CEO, was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin from 2007 until 2015. Ms. Wojcicki co-founded 23 and Me in 2006. It would be most strange for the two to have never exchanged ideas on the ins and outs of gathering and selling data for profit. Data sharing is central to 23 and Me’s business model, but only those interested in sharing their DNA, ostensibly ‘for research,’ have their data made available to the 23 and Me community and to scientific researchers at large. One article I read (I’ve done the 23 and Me thing – 4 years ago) called it “DNA crowd sourcing.” BTW – I elected NOT to share my DNA data, despite 100% of my health reports coming back with 0 adverse health variants detected in their ‘carrier status reports’ – but I am in the 85 percentile for my Neanderthal DNA and have 99.9% European ancestry (East, West, South and some North).

    • Trust me, they are using your DNA to develop a virus to kick your DNA immunity.

  4. Different story than the one mentioned above but it can happen:
    A woman says an Ancestry.com DNA test revealed her father — her parents’ fertility doctor

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/04/03/a-woman-said-an-ancestry-com-dna-test-told-her-she-had-a-different-father-her-parents-fertility-doctor/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.022d278b8913

    Also, if you haven’t already done so you should look at the fine print from 23aandMe. For better or worse they basically own rights to your sequence info and can you it for further data mining research.

  5. George

    Your dabbling with DNA data is interesting but scarry. Who in the Deep State or Corporations is grabbing all this data?

    I have read in you past articles of you experimenting with light to improve you health.
    Do you know of a light frequency that is useful for dental issues?
    I am skilled in electronics and would be ale to build my own devise using that information.

    Thanks in advance!
    ROCKET MIKE

  6. Hi George,

    Does your comment system have key word censoring? It seems that the word “an-alysis” causes a comment to be automatically dropped, possibly because it contains the word “an-al”. A couple of interesting comments wouldn’t post, and I’m wondering if this might be the reason.

  7. Ha! I remember when “the check is in the mail” was one of “the great lies”, now it doesn’t even make the list.

  8. Rumor has it, the longest living woman 118 rode bicycle to grocery store daily, something i have to restore health to do myself….

    • I have known several 100 plus individuals.. each of them drank red wine, bread and cheese. also said to not get stressed out over little things.

      • Red wine, bread and cheese. Sounds like a lunch my Sicilian relatives would have had back in the old country (As my American relatives referred to it.)

  9. Medical folk can be a strange lot… There is a HeLa cell that is regularly used for research. It was “illegally” obtained from Henrietta Lacks (without her knowledge or concent) and grown. It was discovered that it was an immortal cell line..still grown to this day. I’m sure it’s justified for the good of all. All questionable.

  10. Yes, really worth doing but remember it’s the epigenome that decides if a particular gene expresses or not. That brings into play all the eastern herbs, turmeric etc. and, the exogenome beyond that for environmental factors……. grandparents drank too much the night dad was conceived kind of thing. Incredible stuff

    • Epigenetics is fascinating, and is one of the ways nature feeds back from the environment. I was very leery of evolutionary processes decreasing entropy and evolving “higher” species, even though I have an advanced bio/med degree. Without such feedback, evolution makes no sense. Entropy always wins in a closed random system. Exogenous in-vivo selective methylation of histones, etc., might be a viable intervention going forward.

      Another missing link in commercial DNA tests is the mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondria are critical to functioning well, and low energy mitochondria are key to many conditions, starting with Chronic Fatigue. Nutrients certainly help, but these little autonomous organelles are still not sufficiently understood. They are always inherited from the mother only, unless there’s an unknown method of transfer from the father. Sequencing the mitochondrial genome across generations might elucidate this. Currently, I don’t believe there’s any “consumer” level mitochondrial DNA sequencing available.

  11. Be very careful. My Sister in law had her DNA tested. A couple of months later her “long lost son” contacted her. He said he was looking for his mother and the DNA folks hooked him up. They gave out her information without her permission. They also sell your results to medical research companies and who knows who else.
    If you truly want to stay off the grid. DO NOT have your DNA tested. Sure the information is fun to read, but the results are not private.

    • Also, I’m sure various government agencies and insurance companies appreciate your paying to have your DNA info added to their databases. For your own good, of course.

      • Except I would on balance judge it’s more valuable to have a list of reactive medicines… Besides, ins. companies would get a nip in a wringer over use of DNA for scoring or declining – and I’ll be lon g dead before it matters…

    • Be really careful believing the story. Unless the long-lost says which outfit outed the Mom, it could be a scam. Easy one, too. And the Mom’s entitled to a big payday…HIPA and patient or medical confidentiality is where a law firm could make mass bank. So color me skeptical without details.

      • Great lies of our time:
        1. Of course I’ll respect you in the morning.
        2. It’s only a cold sore.
        3. Your person info is completely confidential, safe and secure with us.
        Zucky would be so proud….