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Gene Machine

I was recently approached by a new company called Gene Machine to review their service and the science nerd inside of me was so curious, I thought YES PLEASE. I headed straight for their site to check out what they were all about and it seemed pretty cool. It seemed like an opportunity to find out what my children were more inclined to as they got older and how their environment can influence things. Not just their hair and eye colour etc like a normal DNA test and not their family blood line like others (which I also think would be super cool to know). From what I gathered when I first visited their site, I would be finding out things like how I could influence their nutrition, exercise, social support and learning environment.

Within a few days I received my simple instructions and swabs. You simple rub the extremely long cue tip inside of your childs’ mouth for 20 seconds and place inside the sealed bag, label it and pop it in the envelopes supplied, then send it off. Done. Then I waited.

When my results came I was so excited to read them. They were however the thickness of an encyclopaedia but I’m glad I have them in hardcopy too as well as pdf. Well two pdf’s. The first was “discovery” and the second is “diet”.

Discovery

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The reports are very clear and easy to understand. Any technical terms used are also explained clearly so anyone can understand them. For instance when it explained my sons potential athletic ability as a “sprinter” it also explains about muscle fibres and what kind of training you will benefit from etc.

In the area of learning and development it informed me of things like, Ari having a tendency to have higher activity/learning levels in the morning as well as memory capacity and verbal memory. It gives you your results, then some background as to how they find these results and then what it means for the individual. Here is an excerpt from Ari’s. “Your genetic makeup means you show a tendency towards a better verbal working memory performance. Based on your genetic results, you are more like to have better reading and verbal comprehension, speech development and language acquisition. You will still need to pay attention in order properly acquire the intricacies of written and spoken language, however you are more likely to find it easier to learn and speak than those with an average verbal working memory.”

So much more was covered too. Things like eyesight, height, avoidance of errors and risk taking (no surprise there he’s not a risk taker, just like daddy).

Diet

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So if I’m being honest (which I always am) this part seemed a bit of common sense to me. Yes it told me that my child isn’t very likely to be gluten intolerant (thank god because gluten is life) but he may be lactose intolerant (which he isn’t but I’ll tell you more about that later).

It told me his “snacking behaviours” which I already knew and his “alcohol reaction”, which after the 3 shots of tequila I gave him the other night I already knew he’s a crappy drunk for a 2-year-old (do I even need to explain this was a joke?). As well as loads of other information, I mean the diet report alone was 33 pages.

However…… It did have a really cool weekly meal plan. This was 3 meal and 3 snack suggestions for an entire week. It is a “suggested” diet, which I found really cool to try out as the options were super healthy and my brain is fried of trying to thing of new ideas every day when it comes to feeding the little monsters.

My opinion

Now, seeing as I would never promote something unless I believe it is any good I had a whole heap of questions I’m sure you would all have. I will just copy and paste them below with their replies. Nathan who replied to me was more than happy to answer my questions and any you guys might have. If you are curious about what type of big monster your little monster will most likely turn into then I recommend Gene Machine. They are based in Caulfield so results don’t need to travel too far and they recently made some changes and rebranding, which involved:

  • Single kids product including over 50 pages of personalised information
  • Single adults product including over 45 pages of personalised information
  • A more affordable price of $249 for either of these.
  • Faster turnaround from our lab for your results
  • A young and fun in-house marketing team
  • Our new brand name – Gene Machine – which we are really excited about
  • This set up is exclusively for Australia – so a really exciting addition

 

Here were my questions:

TSM- Firstly his eyesight. My husband and eye both have perfect vision so I can’t imagine him needing glasses
GM-  It is more about this being a genetic predisposition he carries. With regards to genetic predispositions, the environment does contribute. So for example, good eye care and nutrition can help prevent the need for glasses. 
Also, to add a bit more background on genetics. 2 parents with great eyesight can still have a child who needs glasses. As we each carry 2 alleles for a gene – 1 from each parent. In a s
lightly technical description which I’ve put down in a simplistic way, I will refer to 1 allele as good eyesight and 1 as bad. Whereby each genetic marker is made up of 2 alleles. The good one for this explanation is dominant, bad one is recessive. So if you both have 1 good and 1 bad allele, the good one is dominant and as such, is what you display, with 2 recessive alleles, that is what you would display. 2 parents can pass on the bad allele – 1 from each parent – to a child. So that is possible. Again, it does not guarantee it, it just is a genetic predisposition that it may occur. I hope that is clear.
 
TSM- If he was lactose intolerant wouldn’t it already be an issue?
GM- lactose intolerance is only an issue above a person’s lactose threshold and many people don’t get symptoms if they consume levels their body can tolerate. It is based on an enzyme that our body produces to break down lactose. Of the people who are lactose intolerant – as in don’t effectively product the enzyme lactase: Some people produce none and can’t have any lactose. Others produce some and can tolerate most lactose foods, but need be careful about overloading it. So it sounds like he tolerates some which is great. But be mindful if he does consume a huge volume close together or across close together meals –  he may feel a touch off from it. Also, keep in mind foods have different levels of lactose, so even though he may have certain cheese and be fine, it contains very different lactose content to milk for instance. 
 
TSM- Would results change from a child to a teen? What age would you recommend to be the best?
GM- results won’t necessarily change, although we do have genetic alterations which can occur as we grow up. However normally, it should be similar. We would normally not re
commend doing a second test across the life, unless huge life changes have occurred. What can differ is environment which influences the way the genes are expressed and displayed.
There is no 1 age we recommend over another. As it really depends on a parent and when they want to get this information and what they are wanting to use it for. For kids report, if they are doing it for general information – can be any age. Sporting – probably more between 8-14. Nutrition – can be early if they are wanting to know more about eating behaviours their child displays, through to the teens. I know I have not given a defined age, but it is difficult. We have just had parents test their newborn as they got given it as a present and thought it was cool to know more about them from the start, I would say we see more between 3 and 10 years of age for the kids report though.
 
TSM- A lot of the nutritional one seemed like common sense too. Do they vary much?
GM- The information will vary based on the result and yes, some of it will be common sense on what to have if they are low or at risk of being low for a certain vitamin. The aim of the information is to help guide and if that advice is common sense – that will help make it easier to implement. However information and advice does differ based on the result.
You can find easy step by step instructions here http://genemachine.com.au/how-it-works/ or their Facebook page Gene Machine .
Thanks for reading it all you guys. I hope you enjoyed that. Zoe- xoxo
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