Notes on Intercultural Communication

Genetics, Cultures and Body Odor

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Body Odor / ABCC11

Introduction

There are two kinds of sweat glands: eccrine sweat glands, which are found throughout the skin, and apocrine sweat glands, which are found in the armpits and groin. Eccrine sweat glands produce sweat that is mostly water and salt, and it does not contribute very much to body odor. Apocrine sweat contains proteins and lipids; when bacteria on the skin metabolize apocrine sweat, they produce body odor. The earwax glands (ceruminous glands) are a form of apocrine gland. (…) Some people have earwax that is wet, sticky and yellow or brown; other people’s earwax is dry, crumbly and grayish. Variation at a single gene determines which kind of earwax you have; the allele for wet earwax is dominant over the allele for dry earwax. The allele for dry earwax appears to have originated by mutation in northeastern Asia about 2,000 generations ago, then spread outwards because it was favored by natural selection. It is very common in eastern Asia, becomes much less common towards Europe, and is rare in Africa. Earwax type is not used very often to illustrate basic genetics, but unlike most human characters that are used (tongue rolling, attached earlobes, etc.), it really is controlled by a single gene with two alleles. . (…)

MYTHS OF HUMAN GENETICS by JOHN H. MCDONALD

Read full text online here or download pdf there

(retrieved 20.01.2013 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=myths%20of%20human%20genetics&source=web&cd=14&cad=rja&ved=0CEcQFjADOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bio-logisch-nrw.de%2FMyths_of_Human_Genetics__Tongue_Rolling.pdf&ei=wib8UOezFMnYtAaFuYDQAg&usg=AFQjCNFEZd0CAl1L9hrf5_JZmjyAs)

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Apocrine Gland Secretion and Body Odor

(…) Martin et al. (2010) performed chemical analysis of axillary sweat samples from 25 individuals with different ABCC11 538G-A genotypes, including 18 Asian participants (11 AA homozygotes, 5 AG heterozygotes, and 2 GG homozygotes) and 7 Caucasian participants (2 AG heterozygotes and 5 GG homozygotes). Levels of 3 glutamine conjugates that are precursors for key body odorants were below detection limits in all participants with the AA genotype but were present in all AG and GG individuals, indicating that ABCC11 is essential for secretion of amino-acid conjugates of relevant axillary odors.

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Mapping of Apocrine Gland Secretion

By a functional assay, Yoshiura et al. (2006) determined that cells with allele A showed a lower excretory activity for cGMP than those with allele G. The allele A frequency showed a north-south and east-west downward geographic gradient; worldwide, it was highest in Chinese and Koreans, and a common dry-type haplotype was retained among various ethnic populations. These results suggested that the allele A arose in northeast Asia and thereafter spread through the world. The 538G-A SNP was the first example of DNA polymorphism determining a visible genetic trait.(…)

Read the full text online here or download pdf there.

(both retrieved 21.02.2015 at http://www.omim.org/entry/117800)

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World Overview ABCC11

site an frequency of allels A27 of ABCC11 among different ethnic populations

Read the document online here or download full pdf there.

(retrieved 20.01.2013 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=das%20ohrenschmalz%20als%20rassenmerkmal%20und%20der%20rassengeruch&source=web&cd=11&ved=0CDAQFjAAOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fge.tt%2Fapi%2F1%2Ffiles%2F50GjGkI%2F0%2Fblob%3Fdownload&ei=FK77ULKmLo_otQaVvoCgBg&usg=AFQjCNEG–tL)

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Additional Material

Human Olfactory Communication

Abstact:

Nonhuman animals communicate their emotional states through changes in body odor. The study reported here suggests that this may be the same for humans. (…) The finding suggests that there is information in human body odors indicative of emotional state. This finding introduces new complexity in how humans perceive and interact. (…)

Human Olfactory Communication of Emotion by Chen D. and Haviland-Jones J.

(retrieved 21.05.2015 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11153847)

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Read the full research as pdf online here or here.

(retrieved 21.05.2015 at http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=7&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CFYQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rci.rutgers.edu%2F~baljones%2FHuman%2520Olfactory.pdf&ei=FrJdVeCFH8yVsgHs5oCgBg&usg=AFQjCNEZZU3iIyp2aNjbNP3SilgIbEpKqg&bvm=bv.93756505,d.bGg)

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(Posted 21.05.2015)

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