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Confused By Warrior Gene Results

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  • Confused By Warrior Gene Results

    I ordered a Monoamine Oxidase-A test and marked that I’m a female on the card I sent my sample with, but when I looked at my results today, they didn’t literally state the results for two distinct chromosomes. In my results page there’s a box that reads “women will have two results”, and I see one chromosome's results, but I don’t see a second chromosome’s result. The results page shows one picture of an X chromosome, not two, and the blurb under my number of repeats literally reads “normal variant”, no plural. There’s no place in my results page that confirms that the sample was assumed to be from a female and my profile doesn't list my sex either.

    From that alone, if I didn't know any better, I'd guess that my sample was contaminated with or accidentally mixed up with a man's, or that only one of my chromosomes was tested, so my results appear the same as they would if the sample was a male's. When I look a little more carefully at the exact wording used in the results interpretation page for more insight, I feel even more confused and suspicious. If someone could try to shed some light onto this for me it would be much appreciated.

    1. In the diagram with ten little squares showing all potential results, there are the following: 2 and 3, 3 and 5, 4 and 5, 3 and 4, 4, 3.5 and 5, 3, 3.5 and 4, and 2 and 4. I'd surmise from this that any single chromosome can have 2, 3, 3.5, 4, or 5 repeats.

    a. Why are the single-chromosome/male possibilities of 2, 3.5, and 5 not listed here?

    b. Why are the double-chromosome/female possibilities of 2 and 2, 2 and 3.5, 3.5 and 3.5, 4 and 4, and 5 and 5 not listed here?

    2. When you scroll down the page a little further, in the same place where they say “3 and 3” is a potential result for women, they also say that “4.5 and 5” is a potential result.

    a. Why is 4.5 repeats not listed in any of squares showing all potential results in the squares above?

    b. If 4.5 repeats is a possibility for a single chromosome, then shouldn't the possibility of 4.5 be added for men and 2 and 4.5, 3 and 4.5, 3.5 and 4.5, 4 and 4.5, 4.5 and 4.5, and 5 and 4.5 be added for women in the same place where there are squares showing all possible results?

    3. Scrolling to the bottom of the page where there’s the explanation of who has the gene and has the normal variant, they write under the female column “warrior gene value of 3”, and “Normal variants: 3, 3 and 5, or 4.5 and 5” and under the female column that normal variants are 3.5, 4, 4.5, and 5.

    a. How can a female have a value of 3, only 3, given the fact that females have two x chromosomes and the lowest number of repeats on any given x chromosome is 2? How could a woman even have only 3 repeats as one of the potential possibilities?

    b. For women, “Warrior gene” is true if you have 3, but one of the “Normal variants” is also 3. If you're a woman with just 3, then you're somehow both warrior and normal?

    c. They describe 3 and 5 as being a "normal" result but 3 as the warrior result. Obviously if you have 3 at all then you're at least a carrier of the gene; you have it. So it seems that 3 and 5 should be in the warrior result category. The only thing I can think of to account for them not putting 3 and 5 in this category is the possibility that "normal" means "not expressed", eg, not someone's phenotype. But is there any actual evidence for the fact that 3 and 3 does produce this phenotype in women (assuming that by 3 they actually mean 3 on each x, not literally 3 total)?

    As I understand, only 2 or 3 repeats produce a small enough amount of MAO-A for this gene to be expressed, but wouldn't 3 on one chromosome and 3 one the other produce significantly more MAO-A than just one chromosome with 3 repeats? The fact that even 3.5 repeats in a man doesn't produce a low enough amount of MAO-A for this gene to be expressed makes me really skeptical that a woman could actually express this gene even if she had 2 and 2, much less 3 and 3. Which brings me back to my question - what do they mean by "normal"? Gene not expressed? Is it actually true that 6 (total) repeats in a woman could produce less MAO-A than 3.5 repeats in a man?

    4. I'm told my number of repeats is 4, just 4 - not "4 and 4", even though 4 is not included in the explanation at the bottom of the page as being one of the possibilities for women to get and there's only one picture of an x chromosome on my result page. Are there any women out there who have gotten in their results page two pictures of a chromosome rather than one? Are there any other women who have gotten this number of repeats as their result? Is there ever a delay between when Family Tree DNA sends you the first chromosome's result and when they send you the second?

    5. Has anyone else received a "normal" result and been completely surprised by it? I've never been very prone to depression, am not very empathetic, don't get easily spooked, enjoy danger/thrills, have never been very risk averse, fought a lot as a kid, etc. Kind of classic warrior gene, though certainly some people seem to have these traits much more strongly than me. Is anyone aware of evidence out there implying that you might be able to somehow at least weakly induce a similar phenotype to the one associated with this gene, even in someone who doesn't have the gene?

    Thanks to anyone for answering any of these questions. I know it's kind of a lot to bite off.
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