23 and Grok



Michael Ondrasik is attending the annual Home Video Studio Advanced Training sessions. The studio will be closed until Mar 5th. However he is posting his daily blogs from the field.

While I await the arrival of other Home Video Studio owners from across the country, something unexpected also arrived. I received my results from the 23 and Me DNA testing kit.

Yes, my wife gifted me with the DNA service last Christmas. I dutifully spit into the tube, sent it to the lab and we have been waiting to hear back. And today I did.

My wife will be pleased to know that I am 100% European. I am a combination of Northwestern European (British/Irish) and Eastern European (Poland/Hungary/Czech), with a smattering of Southern European (Iberian/Balkan peninsulas) thrown into the mix.

She’ll also be happy to know that I did not test positive for any of the variants associated with some of the scarier diseases facing mankind. (Offering up a prayer of thanks to my ancestors for their contributions to this element of my DNA).

I’m not sure however how she’s going to react to this next piece of rather surprising news. I have been informed that my DNA contains 288 variants belonging to Neanderthals. That is a number higher than 67% of the 23 and me customer base.

What does that mean, you may ask? Don’t ask me, I’m part Neanderthal.  How would I know? Fortunately, I have evolved enough to learn how to Google. Here are 10 possible Neanderthal traits I may have “inherited.”

  1. Elongated skull.
  2. Space behind the wisdom teeth.
  3. Broad, projecting nose (thanks a lot!)
  4. Little or no protruding chin. (again, thanks!)
  5. Rosy cheeks
  6. Wide fingers and thumbs
  7. Straight, thick hair
  8. Insulating skin
  9. Fair skin and freckles
  10. Red hair.

And according to my 23 and Me report, at least one of the 288 Neanderthal variants found in my DNA is associated with height. I’m 6’ 3”.

So what does all this mean?  Well, for one thing, when my wife tries to scold me for leaving a dirty dish in the sink by saying, “We’re not animals!” I can smile back and think to myself, “Maybe you aren’t…”

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit www.homevideostudio.com/mtd.

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