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Does a “Bloodline Awakening” Really Exist? Exploring the Genetic Influences on Our Hobbies and Interests

  It is said that once a certain age passes, a mysterious “bloodline awakening” occurs in people.
  The first people to discover this were the group of young people who loved taking pictures of flowers and clouds. When they saw the roses in full bloom, they couldn’t help but zoom in and take some close-ups; when they saw lotus flowers while walking by the lake, they immediately took a few photos of them. When he opened the photo album and saw red roses and pink lotus flowers, the young man’s expression suddenly changed – how could any one of them be a suitable avatar, matching the nicknames of the older generation such as “The clouds are light and the wind is light” and “The still water is deep”?
  Then there is another group of young people who like to wear brightly colored clothes. When they were young, they always wore clothes in three colors: black, white and gray. They felt that they were so cool. I don’t know since when, the colors of their clothes changed to cochineal red, dopamine powder, avocado green, periwinkle blue… They walked on the road with the momentum of a palette, unable to understand why they missed it a few years ago. There are 99% colors in the world, but I think only aunts like to wear colors!
  There are also young people who love buying gold, fishing, and gardening. They used to think these things were too boring, but later they somehow fell into the trap and exclaimed, “It smells really good.” Is there really such a thing as “bloodline awakening” in the world?
  Each of us inherits half of our genes from each parent and acquires approximately 70 genetic mutations.
  These things determined by DNA are not only related to whether our height is 1.6 meters or 1.7 meters, or whether our eyes are single or double eyelids. There are more subtle and complex traits that are also influenced by genetic inheritance, such as hobbies.
  A British family history website conducted a survey with a sample of 2,234 British people, and found that almost a quarter of them had the same interests as their ancestors. Many people’s love for sailing, fishing, stamp collecting, and dancing may really belong to “the same strain.”
  Do you like to eat cilantro? A 2012 study found that just a small variation in an olfactory receptor gene, OR6A2, could have a significant impact on people’s liking for cilantro.
  Do you like coffee or tea? A 2018 paper in Scientific Reports showed that genetic variation causes differences in people’s sensitivity to different bitter tastes, which can affect which beverage you prefer. People who drink a lot of coffee are mostly sensitive to the bitter taste of caffeine but not to the bitter taste of quinine. People who drink a lot of tea, on the other hand, are sensitive to the bitter taste of quinine.
  Do you like to exercise? In a paper published in the academic journal “Behavioral Genetics” in 2020, researchers studied 50,690 people and found that the “heritability” of exercise ranged from 34% to 41%. Compared with individual sports such as jogging, team sports such as football are 13% more “heritable”. In a paper published in “Sports and Exercise Medical Science” in 2022, scientists found 19 mutation sites related to whether they love sports from the genetic data of more than 157,000 people. If you’re genetically predisposed to enjoy the feeling of sweating, you’re more likely to enjoy exercising. If your parents love to play basketball and swim, and you also like to switch back and forth between the court and the swimming pool, then your love for fitness is probably not only something you’ve been exposed to, but also “passed down by blood.”
  But why does one’s bloodline “awaken” only after a certain age?
  Because when we are young, we are more affected by our environment. Young people usually care more about other people’s opinions and will follow trends under “peer pressure”—wear trendy brands and follow the hottest variety shows. The unique parts of young people are easily obscured by popular things. But as we get older, we become more accepting of who we are. As a result, the genes inherited from the ancestors began to actively express – it doesn’t matter what others think of me, let’s let the scarves, fishing, pink, and lotus flowers come more intensely!
  In addition, young people are usually economically weaker and unable to decide what kind of environment they are in. Genes are like seeds, and the environment is like soil. When the soil is not suitable, it will be difficult for the seeds to take root and germinate. Even a genius like Einstein, if he had been born in the Middle Ages, might have been able to agree with the geocentric theory against his will, and it would have been impossible for him to single-handedly come up with the theory of relativity. As you get older and your wallet becomes bigger, you can now buy and play the things you wanted to play but couldn’t when you were young. In recent years, popular sayings such as “adults’ toys” and “children’s play is too childish, but adults’ play is just right” are all expressions of suppressed emotions in childhood and retaliatory rebound when they grow up.
  The greater the environmental stress, the less room there is for genes to do their job. For example, studies on the heritability of exercise also show that partners who live together often influence each other’s exercise habits. If your partner loves walking, you might just follow along with a grimace. But if the environment is “tolerant and free” for us, the more room genes can play, the more obvious the influence of genes will be.
  Of course, a hobby cannot accurately locate a certain gene. Hobbies are complex and often influenced by multiple genes. To be sure, genes are not “destiny.” Genes are more like a pair of hands that nudge us, but we may not go in the direction that genes push us.

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