By Johnathan Pettitt in The Conversation.
Genetic variation is an unavoidable feature of life. As a consequence of this – and unless you are an identical twin – you are genetically unique. You have a distinctive combination of genetic variants, almost all of which are shared with your parents, although shuffled into new combinations. With few exceptions, all of your characteristics, such as hair colour, height, ear wax quality, and disease susceptibility, are influenced by your genetics.
As a consequence, increasing numbers of people want to learn more about their genetic inheritance, which can be driven by a desire to find out whether they are carriers of, or possibly sufferers from, serious genetic disease. Other people are interested in what a genetic test might be able to tell them about their ancestry. Some people are simply curious.
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