SNP (often pronounced “snip”) stands for Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. Our DNA is made up of a long chain of nucleotides (a sugar molecule attached to a phosphate group and a base) that we abbreviate using the base letters of A (adenine), C (cytosine), G (guanine) and T (thymine).
You know from crime shows that people can be identified with certainty by their DNA sequence. However, did you know that human beings are 99.9% IDENTICAL in their genetic makeup? The fact that the 0.1% difference is what accounts for such variation in the human population is why we focus on these single places in our DNA where our base pairs are different. So what is a SNP? It is where one person may have an “A” base, but another has a “G.” That’s it!
These variations are not inherently bad or good – it depends on where they are in our DNA and what base pairs are involved. On average, people have 4-5 million SNPs in their DNA! But, not everybody has the same SNPs.
That’s why at GeneSavvy, we feel that it is important that EVERYONE sequence all the base pairs in their genes. If we know what is unique in our DNA, we can make health and lifestyle decisions that are optimized for us as individuals!