Here is one more thing that you may have inherited from your ancestors: Mednik syndrome.
Mednik syndrome is a rare and debilitating genetic disorder unique to French Canadians. Using genetic mapping and ascending genealogy, eight people have been identified with the mutation, and half of them died before age two, said neurologist Patrick Cossette of the University of Montreal Hospital Centre's Research Centre.
"It's a severe and debilitating illness," Cossette said, adding that the oldest patient with Mednik is now 15. The mutation leads to severe mental retardation, red scaly skin patches, complete deafness, poor absorption of food in the gut and other problems.
The mutation was traced to a group of families from the Kamouraska region, in eastern Quebec, who share a common ancestor, Cossette said. The common ancestor has not yet been identified.
The illness has been traced to a mutation in the AP1S1 gene. Two copies of the same recessive gene must be inherited to lead to the illness.
You can read more at http://tinyurl.com/eogn04.
NOTE: I will be following this story closely as I have many ancestors in the Kamouraska region. So do millions of others throughout Canada and the United States.