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Ear Wax gene: dominant vs recessive types

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  • Ear Wax gene: dominant vs recessive types

    There are two types of ear wax:

    Wet type-Dominant, honey-brown to dark brown, moist; usually found in Caucasians and Africans.

    Dry type-Recessive, gray, flakey; usually found in Asians and Native Americans.

    Wikipedia article

    New York Times article

  • #2
    I recently discovered that Family Tree DNA offers a test on this very issue. I was wondering if anyone could inform me as to what this test will reveal. I know that my cerumen (earwax) definitely falls within the scope of the dry/flaky variety. (My ancestry is entirely Western European.) Both of parents have cerumen that would fall within the scope of the wet variety; so am wondering if this is some sort of throwback. Could they both test to determine which one of them possess the marker?

    Also, does this characteristic definitively suggest some level of Asiatic admixture?

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    • #3
      My 23andMe results come out as an in between variety.

      In fact, my cerumen is in fact somewhere in between.

      Mine is a mid point that "should" be more "wet".

      The gene is ABCC11 and the SNP is rs17822931.

      CC is supposed to be "wet" [seems to be mostly among Western Europeans]
      TT is supposed to be "dry" [seems to be mostly among Brits]

      I am CT, which they say should also be "wet" because of the C.
      CT seems to be showing up more among Eastern Europeans.

      I'm more "dry flaky" than "wet".

      I wonder which SNP the Factoid Earwax test looks at?

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      • #4
        Can anyone verify whether or not dry/flaky earwax definitively implies Asiatic admixture?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by R2-D2 View Post
          There are two types of ear wax:

          Wet type-Dominant, honey-brown to dark brown, moist; usually found in Caucasians and Africans.

          Dry type-Recessive, gray, flakey; usually found in Asians and Native Americans.

          Wikipedia article

          New York Times article
          What about the stinky earwax? or do they all smell the same? I would figure the dry flaky earwax would have less odor. Also wonder if earwax production could be any sort of indicator. I a produce tons of earwax (like Shrek) and it stinks pretty bad, mostly honey brown to dark brown, sometimes almost looks like blood. I am SRY2627+ with no known African or Asian ancestry within the last 5,000 years.

          Arch

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          • #6
            I haven't had this test. I think humidity influences the type of earwax to some extent. When the weather is dry and or windy my earwax can be flaky. When it's very humid out my earwax is sticky on the inside. How I clean my ears is I take a Qtip and put water on it and squeeze out the excess water. A moistened qtip works much better than a dry one. The cotton won't fray and pull off. My earwax is very pale. I use one to three qtips per ear about once or twice a week. Sometimes daily. I have seen someone that had very dark earwax. I thought a bug crawled in their ear and died and they were scooping out bug goo. It was gross.

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