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Conversation #35: Catholic Slacker and Alpha Male (March 20th, 2018)

We’re late this week—-but spring is here! We had a wonderful walk on Saturday. Grace is reading The PK Cookbook by Sarah Myhill and Craig Robinson.Paul has a possible explanation for the cough he’s had for months. He wasn’t satisfied with his doctor’s lack of concern in helping him get rid of his chronic cough, so he took matters into his own hands and signed up for a study, and provided a blood sample for genetic testing. He’s learned that he has the PiMZ variation of the SERPINA1 gene. This gene is responsible for the production of the alpha–1 antitrypsin protein. The more severe PiZZ variation results in levels less than 15% of normal and produces severe disease of the lungs and liver. Paul’s PiMZ variation means he doesn’t isn’t considered to have the full-blown alpha–1 antitrypsin deficiency disease, but instead is a “carrier.” This isn’t all that rare: individuals with the MZ gene make up about 2–5% of the population.With some genetic disorders, being a “carrier” means you can p…

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