This week's seminar speaker was a guy who was involved with the sequencing of Ozzy Osbourne's genome. I wrote down some quotes from his talk (the only notes I took, and only because they were hilarious).
Ozzy's motivation for participating in the study? "Given the swimming pools of booze I've guzzled over the years, not to mention all of the cocaine, morphine, sleeping pills . . . you name it, there's really no plausible medical reason why I should be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why."
When they analyzed his genome, they found some unique gene variants, one of which was a protein that alters the way his body processes alcohol. Ozzy's response? "I used to drink four bottles of cognac a day. I'm not sure I need a Harvard scientist to get to the bottom of that mystery."
Ozzy possesses a gene that makes him more resistant to heroin addiction. His take on that? "I was never addicted to street heroin, 'cause it made me throw up. A terrible waste of booze."
Ozzy's genes make him slightly more likely to develop an addiction to cocaine. Apparently he didn't buy that: "This must be bollocks, because anyone who takes coke as much as I did gets hooked."
The presence of other alleles that they found mean that Ozzy is more likely to hallucinate while on marijuana. He did believe that one: "Makes sense, although I was usually loaded on so many different things at the same time, it was hard to know what was doing what."
He also has one region of his genome that contains DNA sequences from Neanderthals. Apparently it's very common for Europeans to carry Neanderthal DNA sequences. Pretty cool stuff in my opinion.
Kind of makes me want to go get my genome scanned so I can find out what unique traits I'm carrying. I doubt mine would generate as many headlines as this one does though.