5 Things to Read Instead Of

The week is (finally!) over, and it’s been a weird one. You’ve ever wondered if the wizarding gene in the Potterverse is recessive? That and more in this week’s pick of top 5 (weird) stories from around the web. 

Harry Potter and the Genetics of Wizarding

In the magical world of J.K Rowling, magical ability runs in the family, where young wizards and witches are typically born into families that have already produced generations of wizards and witches. However, there are exceptions to this rule: “mud bloods”. Hermoine Granger was born to a pair of Muggles (people without magical powers), but still has magical powers. She’s an example of a “de novo” mutation – a genetic mutation that occurs quite frequently in real life. But genetics can explain more in the Potterverse than just magical ability… 

Our Health is Written in the Stars Apparently 

A Spanish researcher has mapped birth months to 27 different chronic diseases, claiming the month of your birth can affect which diseases will afflict you.  If you’re a girl born in June, you’re less likely to suffer from migraines and menopause problems. Are you a man born in September, however, you’re more likely to have thyroid issues than winter boys. And overall, children born in September are the least likely to suffer from any chronic issues… 

DNA Variants That Are Bad for Health May Also Make You Stupid

Yep, you read that right. A genetic analysis of families in Scotland, UK hints that brainier people have fewer DNA mutations that impair intelligence and general health, rather than having more genetic variants that make them smarter… 

DNA Divides and Unites

It’s easy to think there are more things dividing us than uniting us. But we actually have much more in common with other nationalities than you’d think. If you haven’t seen this video already, you definitely should. 

Damn You Baby!

New research has shown that people born to mothers who had the prenatal disorder preeclampsia were more likely to have certain DNA variations near a gene known to influence blood vessels. This means that a baby’s DNA may kick off mum’s preeclampsia. Those troublemakers!



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