Is it in the Genes or just Jeans?

Is it in the Genes or just Jeans?

There was an interesting snippet of news in The Sun yesterday, reporting how scientists had traced the mutant gene for giantism carried by hundreds of people today back to a 7’7’’ giant living 150 years ago. He was called Charles “Irish Giant” Byrne and appeared in 18th century freak shows. Analysis on Byrne’s teeth DNA showed that the gene could actually be tracked to 500 AD. The study was lead by Professor Karbonitis of Bart’s Hospital, who said “It is now possible to trace down carriers of this gene in time and treat them before they grow to be giants”.

The story reminded me of a humorous piece I read a long time ago that related how a descendant of Romanian Count Dracula (a real person, who inspired the famous novel) was now working in a blood bank in Austria. This sounds too good to be true, but for absurdity’s sake I hope it is.

Although the news about ‘giant research’ sounds comedic on the surface, people who suffer from this kind of genetic affliction obviously face many problems that aren’t funny at all. Many people are born with congenital abnormalities that in all likelihood arise from an unfortunate mingling of certain genes inherited from their mother and father. Apart from basic physical mutations, some parents pass on truly unpleasant conditions to their offspring, such as Huntingdon’s disease and haemophilia that cause life-long health problems and often cut life short altogether.

Apart from these more drastic kinds of illnesses, obviously our genes affect us in all ways imaginable. We all look so different to each other because the possible permutations of genes we can inherit reach to infinity. The reason I’m a tall (5’9’’) female is probably because both my parents are tall (and so is my brother). If you’ve got very small ears then in all likelihood it’s because at least one of your parents has as well.

We often say about people ‘She’s got good genes’, usually referring to someone who’s naturally good looking or healthy or fertile. We understand that some people are just the recipient of good features, which always seems a bit unfair if you don’t share the same good fortune. London escorts are the perfect examples of people that have ‘good genes’. To work in a London escort agency you have to be way above average in the looks stakes, as well as fit and healthy, and it’s certainly helpful if they already have a good character in place. Busty escorts in London are busty because their mother and grandmothers were (and possibly their father’s and grandfathers!)
Black escorts in London inherited the colour of their skin from their parents (just like the white ones obviously). Blonde escorts in London are blonde because – well, some of them are blonde because of their genes, but others have a little artificial help.

This last point takes me to the nature versus nurture debate. It’s true this is normally applied to aspects of peoples’ personalities and behaviour patterns rather than their looks – for example do people that grow up to become criminals do so because they’ve got a combination of genes that predisposes them to it, or because they come from a broken home? There are tonnes of research supporting both theories, but the general consensus seems to be that it is always a mixture of both – genes and environment can’t be disentangled.

I think the argument can also be applied to looks as well as personality. For example, you might assume that peoples’ heights are genetically determined. Awww that poor guy might be vertically challenged but it’s not his fault, obviously his dad must have been short too. WRONG. Well, it is the case sometimes. But studies have shown that people who smoke during adolescence stunt their growth. Therefore that poor short guy with the good personality may have at least partly inflicted his height issues on himself.

The London escorts have been blessed with genes that code for slender figures, pretty, radiant faces, silky hair, flawless skin, nice breasts and everything else that’s so appealing about them. However, they’re the first to admit that looking so good takes work – they don’t roll out of bed in the morning looking a million dollars. Many of them have grown up in households where greed for food just didn’t exist, and young people are never fat because they eat sensibly and keep very active. They carry these learned behaviour patterns with them all their lives, and it keeps them looking younger and healthier than people who’ve never been encouraged to develop a healthy lifestyle. In addition they’ve invested time and care in grooming themselves, learning how to make the best of what Mother Nature has given them.

It’s quite good really, that tabloid papers contain news stories that are relevant to the much bigger picture, as well as the essential celebrity gossip of course.