10 October 2012

Was your immigrant ancestor seasick on the journey

One in three individuals is highly susceptible to motion sickness so the chances your trans-Atlantic immigrant ancestor suffered on the journey are good.  The remaining two-thirds of the population may experience motion sickness if the conditions are extreme, and chances of encountering a storm during the passage were high, especially in the days of sail.

While you likely have no record of your ancestor's reaction to the immigrant voyage genetic testing company 23andMe claims an estimated 70% of a person’s risk for motion sickness to genetics. If you're susceptible there's a higher likelihood your ancestor was.

The 23andMe study is mentioned in a blog post, The Genetics of Nearsightedness, Stretch Marks, and Motion Sickness promoting presentations being given at the annual American Society of Human Genetics  meeting, finds 14 genetic associations with motion sickness that fall into a few different biological categories. That's based on findings from 37,000 company customers who were surveyed about motion sickness,

Three of the genetic variants are involved in development, including development of the eye and ear. Other variants are involved neurological processes and glucose/insulin regulation.

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