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DNA

DNA, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, blueprint molecules for everything that makes you you. Race/ethnicity isn't a biological thing present in your DNA, however.

There's a lot we don't know about the estimated 20,000 or so genes present on our 23 chromosomes and the simple and complex traits they govern. We do know that genes coding for superficial traits such as skin, hair, and eye color, are just that--superficial. Scientists argue that race (e.g. African, Asian) is a social construct because there aren't genes only present in Africans or only present in Asians and not present in other "races," and there aren't genes present in all members of a particular "race," either. Two people from the same perceived race can be as genetically different as two people from different races.

So there's something insidious about these ancestry sites that analyze your DNA and tell you what percentage you are of which ancestry. What these sites are calling Irish, European, or Chinese "ancestry" markers are genes that became more common in certain populations for geographic reasons. When black-haired people have babies with black-haired people in a particular region, those black-haired genes accumulate in the local gene pool. There are no Irish, European, or Chinese genes absolutely proving ancestry, but simply genes more commonly seen in those regions. Someone living in another different part of the world could have those same genes as well without being from that region. Claims of ancestry ID can be a misleading game of statistics.

The above's really a disclaimer because I fell for the DNA analysis thing, too, though there's no need for a lab to tell me I'm 100% Asian. Perhaps the "no data available" segments are what's interesting here.


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Some Tips from Orientation

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Do not violate HIPAA.
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Get CPR-certified, vaccinated, background-checked and drug-screened.
There may be times when you’re willing to pay $80 for a hotel room just so you can get a few hours’ sleep.
ATI, ATI, ATI.
Keep textbooks handy in your car.
Spend time with your family this summer--they won't see you for two years.
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Needle Phobia

As a kid, I was convinced that glass thermometers, like needles, hurt. I lost my shit when the doctor busted out with a big honking needle.

I've only fainted once, in college, after a blood draw. It wasn't my fault, though, because I'd looked away, and when I looked back, the nurse was wiping up a puddle of bright red blood she'd spilled all over my medical form.

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Belonephobia: an abnormal fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles

Trypanophobia: a fear of injections

Vaccinophobia: a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

This fear actually makes sense in terms of evolution. Heavy-handed symbolism aside, if, like Aurora on her sixteenth birthday, one sees a sharp, pointy thing and thinks, MUST TOUCH, one might not live to pass on one's genes.

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