DNA is the genetic material in our cells that make us who we are. You inherit this genetic material, half from your mother and a half from your father. It determines your physical appearance, like your hair and eye color.
You get half of your DNA from your mother and a half from your father.
It can also influence how your body functions, such as whether you are able to process fat efficiently or tend to have high blood pressure. Knowing what your individual genetic profile says can help you understand your body, recognize your deficiencies, and possibly overcome any negative genetic tendencies.
Your genotype is your genetic makeup, your actual strands of DNA comprised of a 3 billion base strand in which each individual base is one of four possible molecules. The four types of bases are adenine (A), thy- mine (T), guanine (G), and cytosine (C). These bases form long, twisted- chains of DNA and a piece of DNA containing millions of base pairs packed tightly is called a “chromosome”.
DNA is made up of billions of base pairs.
The base pairs of DNA give instructions to the body to perform certain actions. For example, some base pairs contain instructions on making enzymes to digest food. The base pairs may give some very specific instructions too, such as telling only certain skin cells to make hair while other skin cells do not. Sometimes, when DNA is being copied to make new cells, “mistakes” are made in the copying of bases. These variations are called SNPs or single-nucleotide polymorphisms. For example, a series where the original sequence is “GCAA TCT A” can be mutated to “GCAATAT A” (highlighted in yellow below).
Sometimes mistakes called SNPs to occur in our DNA.
This mistake, like a typo or a mistake in a computer program, can change the instructions the DNA gives to the body. The change may be minor or not have any noticeable effect. Or it may be a major change that affects the body significantly, such as failing to make a protein that leaves the body susceptible to disease.
The other genes you have and your environment determine how your body responds to the SNPs that you have. For example, you may have other genes that compensate for the “mistake” in the copying. Or you may have compensated for the error by eating (or not eating) certain foods. You and another person may have the same SNP but respond to itdifferently and thus have different phenotypes.
This genetic report contains information about your genetic profile or genotype. It tells you what SNPs you have, or where alterations happened in copying your genetic material. Un-derstanding the potential issues your personal genotype contains will help you deal with and possibly even over-come the way those genes may be ex- pressed. This report gives you practi-cal suggestions to improve your phenotype, or the expression of your genetic material, in order to live a healthier lifestyle.