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T2R Receptor – Genetics & Expression

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Who expresses these receptors? Because that's the most common question when we talk about this research, is: how do I know what my level of expression is on these receptors? Basically you inherit genes to develop these receptors from your mom and your dad and you can inherit genes for them to show high expression. If you've basically got a good gene from mom and a good gene from dad, they're inherited by Mendelian Genetics, or if you remember like a punnet square with XX or Xx or xx. Those who get two good genes (one from mom and one from dad) have very high expression of these receptors, versus the middle group (about 50%) get one good gene from mom or dad, and then one bad gene from mom or dad. That's about 50% of population - they express the receptor, but not nearly on the level of the 25% that have very high expression. Then you have the last 25%, which basically don't really inherit the gene for these receptors, so they have very low expression of these receptors. You can test for your level of expression through genetic analysis, or you can do a simple taste test, which is what we did for the study to show how strongly you express these receptors, because that's actually what's important. What we showed the association in COVID-19 was your actual current level of expression of these receptors predicted your duration and severity of illness if you were to get COVID.

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