PCR has been a vital tool for genetics research, and this is even true at Christmas.

Christmas tree

The genetics of Christmas dinner

A common Christmas argument is over sprouts, dividing the dinner table into those who love them and those who hate them. Genetics could be behind these frictions – people who taste sprouts as bitter could have more taste receptors, making them ‘supertasters’.

And alongside the sprouts, researchers at the University of Warwick are breeding better parsnips to improve disease resistance.

The genetics of Christmas trees

Learning more about the genetics of Christmas trees could lead to better trees, helping them grow more quickly and hang on to their needles for longer. Don’t forget to hang a genetics Christmas decoration on the tree.

The genetics of Christmas disease

Named after the first patient rather than the season, Christmas disease is a form of haemophilia, and is caused by a mutation in the F9 (coagulation factor IX) gene.

The genetics of Father Christmas

Father Christmas has turned out to have rather surprising genetics, and these could be behind his amazing ability to deliver presents everywhere on Christmas Eve.

While you tuck into your Christmas dinner, have a read of last year’s Christmas article, PCR in the Festive Season, listen to some genetics Christmas carols, and have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all of us at xxpress.

Suzanne Elvidge is a freelance science, biopharma, business and health writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has written for a range of online and print publications including FierceBiomarkers, FierceDrugDelivery, European Life Science, the Journal of Life Sciences (now the Burrill Report), In Vivo, Life Science Leader, Nature Biotechnology, New Scientist, PR Week and Start-Up. She specialises in writing on pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, science, lifestyle and green living, but can write on any topic given enough tea and chocolate biscuits. She lives just beyond the neck end of nowhere in the Peak District with her second-hand bookseller husband and two second-hand cats.