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Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis

01 Oct

Clearly a writing challenge inspired by a topic titled ‘DNA analysis’ had to catch my attention. Not only I’m a born-again geek, I’m a ‘recovering scientist’, and up for grabbing any opportunity to jump right back into my past!

Funny how reading through this week’s suggestion from the Daily Post put me into a time machine, sending me back and forth in time: remembering my days as a researcher, scientist, professor; and yet, imagining how it would be when my [now little] children grow and decide on their own careers, taking up on different life paths…

Who knows what the future will have for them? What I’ve got is my past, followed by a great present bringing my off-spring up…

Talking about offspring, let me take you back to this post’s original idea, before my reminiscent past [and the uncertainties of our nomad future], take me completely off-track! My family is a melting pot: I seem to bring to the table a mix of Portuguese and Northern African backgrounds, surprisingly revealed by a recent DNA analysis. Our 3 children are a mix of Portuguese, Spanish, English, French, German ingredients, bubbling up from inside a hot deep cooking pot.

[Quick note: one of my husband’s passions, besides me, obviously, is Genealogy. He maintains a website on his parental families, and we’ve done together the DNA analysis, to learn more about our ‘ancestry’. The triggering idea for immersing into the research was actually the moment our first child was born: leave a knowledge legacy for our children].

Off-track… again? Not really! Back to my Portuguese/Northern African heritage…

From my mother I’ve inherited the quick temper and the sharp tongue – aww, those Portuguese Senoritas! I’ve also learned from her how to appreciate food and cooking, especially seafood dishes; all well-accompanied with good wine. She is the Teacher in my life, in more ways than one. My mother has taught me to understand and develop a passion for artistic expressions: music, dance and painting. Later in life, they all morphed into a healthy taste for fashion, dining out, event hosting, social outings and the passion for traveling to new places…

From my long-lost past...

From my long-lost past…

My father’s legacy is deeply imprinted in my body and mind. I became a person of Science because of him. Like my mother, he grew up orphan, lacking a present father-figure at home; nevertheless, made a life for himself as a chemical engineer, and teaching me how to love and appreciate all expressions of science and investigation and discipline. From my father I’ve inherited a ‘not-so-healthy’ taste for questioning, inquiring, and looking for answers and justifications. I’ve learned I’m capable of challenging facts of life, seeking solutions to daily problems.

I consider myself a product of hybrid environments, a product of mixed cultures, nicely blending together. I consider myself not a noun, but a verb… I’ve learned to accept and embrace new cultures and traditions as my own, since a very early age.

Life went on, and as it should be, the day I had to overlap my nucleic acid sequence with someone else’s came around. Considering that recombination is a common method of DNA repair, it was definitely the way the ‘future Mr. Right’ and I decided to pursue. Structural repair? What a great suggestion for a lucky start! Genetic recombination with breaking and rejoining of DNA strands is accelerated by many different enzymes. In our case, those enzymes were an endless curiosity, the unpaired desire to travel and visit new places and the recognition that neither one of us could survive withought the other’s genetic material… And so we merged; two genomes fusing into one happily married sequence… trust me, PCR results can prove it! 😮

The results of this apparently odd combination can be checked [through a quite simple molecular biology experiment]: the three children that fill our house with joy and love. They have dark, brown and blond hairs. They’ve got dark and light eye colors. They dance and play like Brazilians, eat like Mexican and Portuguese; cry like Spaniards and French. They’re emotional and they’re grounded. They like art, and they like science. They’re growing up knowing the world is much bigger than what’s stated by their birth certificates, or stamped on their 9 passports…

Our children understand they come from mixed backgrounds, and know in their hearts they need to honor their heritage. And one day, they’ll be telling stories about their parents and grandparents to their own offspring: tales about how recombinant DNA, Portuguese cuisine, Mariachis, and American football traditions are all related… 😮

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20 Comments

Posted by on October 1, 2013 in FAMILY, foreign service, humor

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

20 responses to “Weekly Writing Challenge: DNA Analysis

  1. Annie dos Ventos

    October 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    oi.será q pode me tirar uma duvida sobre o desafio? não tem que ser escrito em ingles pra participar??? muitooo obrigada pela atenção!! cafuné e muita luz pra ti 🙂

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    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

      Em verdade, talvez precise sim… mas uma vez eu vi aqui um challenge sobre ‘linguagem’… e havia das mais diversas ofertas! 😮 Mas, sinta-se a vontade pra escrever em ingles… eh claro que, em Portugues, a audiencia torna-se bastante reduzida; e oposto ocorre com posts em ingles, onde mais gente tem acesso e pode entender… Eh sempre bom pra por em pratica a nossa segunda lingua… 😮

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  2. Annie dos Ventos

    October 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    É tão linda essa diversidade, essa mistura..ainda mais num pais tão grande e miscelanico,<== (n sei se essa palavra existe) como o nosso Brasil… Eu sinceramente adorei isso q vc escreveu: Eles gostam de arte, e eles gostam de ciência. Eles estão crescendo sabendo que o mundo é muito maior do que o que é afirmado por suas certidões de nascimento, ou estampadas em seus nove passaportes …

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    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm

      E tudo, a mais pura verdade! eh bom demais saber que as minhas criancas irao crescer sabendo que existe um mundo tao vasto la fora… muito maior que a propria geografia deles possa explicar! Muita sorte e sucesso pra ti, Raquel.

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  3. Lucid Gypsy

    October 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    What a rich cultural heritage you and your family have.

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  4. justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis

    October 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Reblogged this on justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis.

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    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you very much for the interest in sharing – much appreciated!

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  5. girlychristina

    October 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Hi,
    Great post! I can tell you really enjoyed this post through your writing =) Yay, Science!

    Christina
    http://lifebeinggirly.com/

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    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you very much, Christina! So, another ‘long-lost previously life in Science? Once a passion, always a passion… it still remains my secret passion… 😮 Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by and share your comments here – much appreciated!

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  6. colonialist

    October 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Talk about a chain reaction! 🙂

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    • 3rdCultureChildren

      October 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      Like that!!! A good mixed-background polymerase chain reaction! 😮 Oh, I do miss those days… now, my experiements and research revolve around making sure the morning cereal doesn’t get flooded with orange juice at the breakfast table! 😮 Thank you so much for taking the time to check it out, Colonialist!

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