It might sound surprising, but 65% of adults have a lowered ability to digest lactose, or milk sugar. One particular gene is responsible for this. When a child is still very young and he needs milk to survive, the body creates an enzyme for digesting lactose. As that person gets older, however, their ability to absorb dairy products falls. Only a fraction of people have the gene for lactose tolerance, meaning that they can digest milk effectively without any problems at any age.
What many of us have long suspected has been confirmed by scientists: not everyone has the innate ability to drive a car. You can learn all the rules of the road and pass your driving test, but if you have special genes that affect your ability to orientate yourself, the speed of your reactions, or your memory, then getting behind the wheel may still turn out to be a bad idea. You’re more likely to get distracted while driving and are therefore at greater risk of being in an accident. Scientists believe these genes are in as much as 30% of the population.
The likelihood that a person has or will develop shortsightedness is inherited. If both parents have this problem, then the risk of the child developing it is around 50%.
However, scientists believe that we can’t ascribe absolutely everything here to genetics. Those who spend less time sitting in front of a computer and avoid straining their eyes are far less likely to suffer from shortsightedness.
It might sound unbelievable, but the secret of a person’s popularity is hidden in their genes. Harvard scientists reached this conclusion after long years of painstaking research. They believe that at the dawn of humankind’s existence, those who possessed valuable information about food sources or danger were at the center of a given social group’s attention. These people passed on their genes to their descendants. The people who inherited these genes are those who are popular among their peers and who people often want to be friends with. How did this come to pass? Perhaps future research will make this clearer.
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