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In Focus

I finally got my “famous people” genetic report. These are my “relations” in my haplogroup on my mother’s side. A haplogroup is a collection of common inherited genes that trace male or female ancestor lines back to an original parent. Unlike regular DNA, mtDNA exists outside the nucleus of your cells and is only passed down by mothers to daughters and sons. Based on the analysis of my mtDNA, I have a distant relationship to the following: Ötzi the Iceman is Europe’s oldest natural human mummy. He lived around 5300 years ago. At the time of his death, Ötzi was approximately 5 ft. 5 in. tall and was about 45 years old. Mike Nichols, a German-born American television, stage and film director. He was also a writer, producer and comedian. Along with an Academy Award, Nichols won a Grammy Award, four Emmy Awards, nine Tony Awards and three BAFTA Awards. Craig Venter is a biologist and entrepreneur. He created the first cell with a synthetic genome and was listed on Time magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world. Meryl Streep is an actress and philanthropist. Cited in the media as the “best actress of her generation”, she is one of the six actors to have won three or more Oscars. Streep has also received eight Golden Globes, 20 Academy Awards and 30 Golden Globe nominations, making her the most nominated actress. Katie Couric, television journalist, author and talk show host. She has been a television host on all big three television networks in the U. S. (ABC, CBS and NBC) as well as the global news anchor for Yahoo News. Stephen Colbert, known for The Colbert Report, a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows in which he portrayed a caricatured version of conservative political pundits. The series became one of Comedy Central’s highest-rated series. Colbert has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Peabody Awards. He was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People. His book, I Am America (And So Can You!), was number one on The New York Times Best Seller list. Harry Connick Jr. is a singer, musician, and actor. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide. He is ranked among the top 60 best-selling male artists in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America. Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress, played the part of Jake’s sister in the Gyllenhaal family. Nominated for several awards since she started acting and won a Golden Globe for her performance in “The Honorable Woman.” Jake Gyllenhaal, actor. Throughout his career, Gyllenhaal has been nominated for various awards including Academy Awards, British Academy Film Awards and Golden Globe Awards. He won a BAFTA Award for Brokeback Mountain and several other awards for Nightcrawler. Well, I think it’s pretty neat. I’m not sure how distantly related we are, but somehow we share a lineage.



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