Ozzy Osbourne's Genome

ComputerOzzy Osbourne, the former frontman of Black Sabbath, the “Prince of Darkness” himself, has had his full genome sequenced and analyzed. In July, he allowed a sample of his DNA to be taken from his blood. His DNA was sequenced by a company from Saint Louis, MO, called Cofactor Genomics. Another company, Knome Inc., helped to raise funds for this genome project, and also analyzed the data that came from Ozzy’s DNA sample. The results were very interesting!

Why did Ozzy Osbourne decide to allow his genome to be studied? He was curious, and, after thinking about the project, wondered if maybe he had something to offer science. There is an interesting quote from Ozzy Osbourne that has been going around the internet in regards to this project. In short, he thought about the “swimming pools of booze” and the variety of drugs he has consumed in his lifetime, and concluded: “…there’s really no plausible medical reason why I should still be alive. Maybe my DNA could say why.” This quote comes from an article in Scientific American.

The results were fascinating, to Ozzy Osbourne himself, as well as to the researchers. There are thousands of new mutations that were found in Ozzy Osbourne’s genome. These mutations have yet to be fully examined. In part, this is because the study of the human genome is in it’s infancy, and scientists are still working by comparing similarities between humans. Perhaps it is the abnormalities that will one day reveal exciting things about all humans.

Many of the variants found in Ozzy Osbourne’s genome have something to do with how the brain processes dopamine. He also has two copies of an uncommon variant on a gene that makes the CLTCL1 protein. This particular gene is involved with how nerve cells communicate with each other. Another variation was found near one of his ADH4, or alcohol dehydrogenase genes, which are the genes that regulate how much of the protein that helps break down alcohol is produced. In addition to these differences, it turns out that Ozzy Osbourne has a tiny segment on his chromosome 10 that may trace back to a Neanderthal ancestor. This is interesting because scientists used to think that Neanderthals did not have any living descendents today. However, genome sequencing projects are finding people whose DNA can link to Neanderthal ancestry.

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