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Revision as of 11:39, 11 August 2012


Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki! We already have 11 comic explanations!

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Genetic Testing Results
That's very exciting! The bad news is that it's a risk factor for a lot of things.
Title text: That's very exciting! The bad news is that it's a risk factor for a lot of things.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Some paragraphs are missing so that it becomes as long as the other explanations.

Ponytail continues Cueball's medical checkup with a genetic test.

Genetic tests show people genetic diseases that they might be at risk for and give them insight into their ancestry. In this case, the genetic results are extremely obvious: His genes are part of a long line of genes stretching back to some of the earliest life forms to have genes. This information is, on top of being obvious, so vague as to be useless for medical purposes.

Randall has previously joked about the, what should be obvious, results of genetic testing in #830: Genetic Analysis.

Randall makes a similar joke in the title text to #674: Natural Parenting: "On one hand, every single one of my ancestors going back billions of years has managed to figure [having kids] out. On the other hand, that's the mother of all sampling biases."

In epidemiology, a risk factor is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection. The title text says that this is a risk factor because being a living human being is, trivially, associated with every disease that could possibly afflict human beings.

Transcript

[Cueball is seated on an medical examination table while Ponytail stands dressed in a doctor's coat holding a file in her right hand.]
Ponytail: Your genetic test results are back. Apparently you're part of an unbroken lineage stretching back billions of years to the early Earth!



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