Meet Deborah Dunn, MD in the 1st part of her interview. DNA and mitochondria have become such an important health topic and understanding this genetic information can optimize your well being.
Deborah received her medical degree from the University of Texas and her master’s in applied environmental public health from Tulane University. She completed a fellowship from Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine program at the University of Arizona and completed training from The Institute of Functional Medicine. She is the founder of Genetic Eve, a company that interprets Mitochondrial DNA.
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➤ SUMMARYWhy has DNA become such an interesting topic?There are 4 major reasons why analyzing DNA is popular.
* DNA is far more expansive than your hair and eye color.
* Analyzing DNA is now more affordable - in 2008 it cost $10 billion and now it can cost $200.
* DNA tests are more available.
* We’re still figuring out the core value of analyzing DNA.
What is mitochondrial DNA and its significance?
* DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that contains your genetic code.
* Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA that is located in mitochondria that creates energy.
* Mitochondria are small structures in cells that generate energy for the cell to use and are referred to as the "powerhouses" of the cell.
* You inherit mitochondria exclusively from you mom that enables researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time.
How does mitochondrial DNA tie into your maternal haplogroup?
* A maternal haplogroup is a family of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that traces back to a single common maternal ancestor.
* You share the same maternal haplogroup with any relative you share a direct maternal line with, including your mom, your brother, your maternal aunt, and so on.
* Your maternal haplogroup traces back through the generations to a single mutation at a specific place and time to a shared maternal ancestor.
How can you determine your maternal haplogroup? The process is easy to have your genetic DNA tested. Contact a testing company, and you will receive a DNA test kit in the mail.
* The instructions will ask you to spit into a tube or wipe a swab around the inside of your mouth.
* Then you mail the sample of your DNA to the lab.
* Know that we all share 99.9% of the same genes. Testing companies show just .1% of your genetic makeup in the report.
* These reports predict the ancestral origin of different parts of your DNA by comparing them to reference populations.
* The report from 23andMe will provide your maternal haplogroup.
Where does the name genetic eve come from?
* In human genetics, Genetic Eve refers to the the Mitochondrial Eve that is the matrilineal most recent common ancestor of all living human beings.
* The most recent woman from whom all living humans descend in an unbroken line purely through your mom and your mom’s mom, back until all lines converge on one woman.
* The name “Mitochondrial Eve" alludes to biblical Eve.
* Dr. Dunn’s company is called Genetic Eve.
Why does it matter in today’s world that you carry ancient maternally inherited mutations?It’s possible in the future that we will manipulate our genetics including our mitochondria.
* If this happens, the ability to track the ancestry of people will be lost.
* Manipulating genetics are life-altering interventions that can change the mitochondria to adapt to this modern world.