Lucky Genes

Hey parents! Your kid is vomiting – why aren’t you sick?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, on germs and genes.

You know the drill. Your pride and joy brings home a stomach bug. You’re both up all night, exposed to MANY icky bodily fluids. Days later, only ONE of you gets sick. The other got off scot-free! But … why?

Researchers at Duke University say it’s likely because of your genes!

They ran an experiment we’re GLAD to have missed. They exposed 30 volunteers to E. coli bacteria, renowned for causing diarrhea. Some folks got sick, others didn’t.

To find out why, the scientists collected blood samples from everyone before and after exposure.

They identified twenty-nine genetic differences between the two groups. Certain patterns may predispose the victims – I mean volunteers – to get sick or to stay well. Understanding these could lead to new medicines.

If not a general feeling of superiority. You know, for avoiding what took down your spouse and the entire P-T-A!

Oh, but since you’re the only healthy one around, can you clean up the mess? Thanks!