I’m happy to welcome–Caren Crane, Jeanne Adams, Nancy Northcott–the authors of Who’s Your Daddy.
10 Cool Facts About DNA (from Caren Crane)
Thanks for having us today, Joanne! The anthology I wrote with Nancy Northcott and Jeanne Adams, Who’s Your Daddy: A DNA Anthology, is three stories based around people finding out unknowns from having their DNA tested. This has been a hot topic the past few years, because so many of us are having our DNA tested from the comfort of our homes. When I chose to do mine, I used 23andme.com, because they give you all the raw data (unlike ancestry.com) and also provide you with ongoing information about the medical data gleaned from your DNA. Those things were important to me, though others may not be as invested in those aspects.
Since this anthology and our stories are all about DNA, I thought I would do a list of 10 cool things to know about DNA. I am no expert, so I gleaned these from several great articles: 10 Interesting DNA Facts by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., on thoughtco.com, 10 Quick and Interesting DNA Facts, by Steve Minchin, on explorebiotech.com, and 10 Fun Facts About DNA on the DNA Diagnostic Center blog at dnacenter.com. I have gleaned only the most fun of DNA facts from these sources, never fear!
1. 8% of human DNA is made up of ancient viruses that used to make us ill.
2. If you could type 60 wpm, 8 hours a day, it would take about 50 years to type out the human genome.
3. If we unraveled the DNA in a human, it would stretch out for 10 billion miles. That’s more than the distance to Pluto and back!
4. Apparently, DNA has a half-life of 521 years. In simple terms, this means the oldest organism that could be cloned could not be more than 2 million years old. So, we could never clone a dinosaur. (Sorry to crush those Jurassic Park dreams!)
5. DNA is fragile. About 1,000 times a day, things happen to damage it and cause errors. However, our bodies have very clever systems in place to act as repair mechanisms (though not all errors are reparable).
6. Humans share 99.9% of their DNA. It’s the 0.1% that makes us unique!
7. Genes only make up 3% of your DNA. Until recently, the other 97% was thought to be “junk”. Scientists have discovered, though, that the non-coding DNA contains switches that turn genes on or off and control other compounds.
8. We can sequence the DNA of a fetus with only blood from the mother and spit from the father. Therefore, they can now detect genetic diseases in offspring with no invasive procedures.
9. DNA has been traced back over 300,000 years. The DNA of a man from South Carolina was found to have an ancient Y chromosome that had been passed down intact for 338,000 years. The chromosome carried a mutation found in people of the Mbo tribe in Cameroon. That means an ancestor of the Mbo interbred with an archaic African human.
10. Friedrich Miescher discovered DNA in 1869, although scientists did not understand it was the genetic material in cells until 1943. Prior to that time, it was thought that proteins stored genetic information.
As stated, I’m no expert on DNA, but I know cool stuff when I read it. DNA is very cool!
Presenting three tales of secrets revealed and histories uncovered by DNA testing.
Brown-Eyed Boy by Caren Crane
A carpenter discovers his father isn’t actually his father. Coming to terms with the truth reaffirms his place in his family, but it also leads him to love with an old friend’s sister and helps him find a path for his life.
Lost in Time by Jeanne Adams
A lawyer learns his grandmother had a secret marriage before his father was born. With the help of a talented genealogist, he tracks down his ancestry. Will he find the truth about his grandmother’s secret before whoever’s trying to kill him succeeds?
Worth Waiting For by Nancy Northcott
A burned-out spy goes home for a holiday and re-encounters the woman he never dated but never forgot. As he and she grow closer, he learns her niece, his ex-girlfriend’s child, bears an uncanny resemblance to him. When the truth comes out, it will alter three lives.
Excerpt (From Brown-Eyed Boy by Caren Crane)
Eric Burns had simple tastes. He loved cold beer, working with his hands, and hanging with his big, rowdy family. He didn’t have much use for trendy things.
So when his brother Tim gave everybody in the family DNA test kits for Christmas last year, Eric wasn’t thrilled.
But he set up a profile on the testing website. He spit in the test tube and mailed it off. When he got the email saying his results were ready, he clicked the link and logged into his account. It showed he shared half his DNA with his mother, Bebe, of course. Among his siblings he saw most of them shared about half their DNA with each other.
Then he saw he only shared about 25 percent with his sibs. That he shared so much less with all of them than they did with each other made no sense to him.
Then he saw two other people in his list of DNA relatives who shared about the same amount of DNA with him as his siblings did. Two people with the same names as kids from their neighborhood. He felt all the blood drain out of his head and a roaring sounded in his ears as he realized the only thing that could mean.
The mother he adored, the one who had given birth to him and his five siblings, who had mourned his daddy so much that she basically couldn’t function for most of his childhood, had cheated on his father.
Author Bios and Links
Jeanne Adams writes award-winning romantic suspense, fantasy/paranormal, Urban Fantasy and space adventure that’s been compared to Jack McDevitt and Robert Heinlein. She also knows all about getting rid of the bodies. Both traditionally and indie published, Jeanne has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. She teaches highly sought after classes on Body Disposal for Writers and Plotting for Pantzers, as well as How to Write a Fight Scene with her pal Nancy Northcott.
Caren Crane began writing warm, witty contemporary romance and women’s fiction to save herself from the drudgery of life in the office. An electrical engineer by training, she longed to create worlds where things were any color except cube-wall gray. She still works in a cubicle, but gets to hang out with witty, fabulous people whenever she’s writing, which greatly encourages butt-in-chair time.
Caren lives in North Carolina with her wonderful husband and semi-feral rescue cat. She has three fiercely intelligent, gorgeous grown children, having neatly side-stepped her mother’s threat that she would have children Just Like Her. You can find info and excerpts at her website.
Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, history, and genre fiction. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes (and sometimes the magic) she loves in the books she writes.
She’s the author of the Light Mage Wars/Protectors paranormal romances, the Lethal Webs and Arachnid Files romantic suspense series, and the historical fantasy trilogy The Boar King’s Honor. With author Jeanne Adams, she co-writes the Outcast Station space opera series.
The authors will be awarding one copy each of Kick Start by Caren Crane, Dead Run by Jeanne Adams, and Danger’s Edge by Nancy Northcott to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.
Follow the authors on the rest of their Goddess Fish tour here.