Among the many advances and discoveries of modern DNA and genetics are ‘scientific’ oddities. These genetic wonders make it into popular culture and develop a life there that far outpaces their academic worth. These factoids are best used as ‘cocktail conversation’ starters. We present them to our current customers (those who have already ordered a standard test) as just that.
The Black Death Plague Mutation
CCR5 is a gene on chromosome 3. Our CCR5 test is for a 32 base deletion (delta 32) that has been speculatively linked to survival during the Black Death and the Small Pox Plagues (Galvani 2003) that decimated the population of Europe during the Middle Ages.
The delta 32 mutation is found in between 5% and 14% of Europeans and is rare in Asians and Africans (Sabeti 2005). Plague theories are belied by its discovery in a Bronze Age gravesite (Hummel 2005).
Remember: Results are not intended to diagnose disease or medical conditions, and they do not serve the purpose of medical advice. They are offered exclusively for curiosity purposes, i.e., to see how your results compare with what the scientific papers say. Other genetic and environmental variables may also impact these same physiological characteristics. They are merely a conversational piece or a “cocktail party” test, as we like to call it.