February 3, 2014 | Jana

'It's not my fault, it's in my genes!' I blame my genes for my quick-tempered behaviour. But I should also thank them. My DNA contains genes that make me extra-resistant to some illnesses.

Scientists have identified three genes that strengthen immune responses to plague-causing bacteria. Europeans with these genes were more likely to survive the Black Death seven centuries ago, and the genes persist today. I wonder what other secret benefits diseases have left in my DNA?

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The study compared genomes of European Romanians, Roma people and people living in northern India.

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Image: Flickr/Attila Fozo

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