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Monday, January 30, 2006

Is Earwax the Key to Genealogy?

From LiveScience:

Is Your Earwax Wet or Dry?

By Bjorn Carey
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 29 January 2006

Do you have dry, flaky earwax or the gooey, stinky type? The answer is partly in your heritage.

A new study reveals that the gene responsible for the drier type originated in an ancient Northeastern Asian population.

Today, 80 to 95 percent of East Asians have dry earwax, whereas the wet variety is abundant in people of African and European ancestry (97 to 100 percent).

Populations in Southern Asia, the Pacific Islands, Central Asia, Asia Minor, and Native North Americans and Inuit of Asian ancestry, fall in the middle with dry wax frequencies ranging from 30 to 50 percent.

[snip]

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