Behavior and Genes

For the first time, the minds of murderers are opening to direct scientific scrutiny

With new gene sequences, researches can study the action of tens of thousands of genes in an afternoon, compared with one or two genes a month a few years ago. With brain scanners, researchers also can measure the blood flow and metabolic energy of thought in action – and link it to the activity of genes.

Fifty years after scientists discovered the structure of DNA, researchers have launched a comprehensive search for the biological roots of human behavior, an effort that promises to dominate scientific research for decades.

Scientists in five countries are cataloguing the millions of variations in that human biochemical text that sets people apart one from another including those that might affect behavior and emotion.

After a century of false starts, the effort to dissect human nature is entering a new era, says Yale university science historical Daniel Kevels. It might be only a matter of time before genes involved in human behavior can be identified patented and, perhaps, altered.

Research is revealing that the working of genes is more complex than scientist had thought that the brain itself more open to change, and that the effects of everyday experience are more powerful.

Indeed, growing evidence suggests that what happens in life controls the activity of many genes.

The new way of looking at this is that different experiences turn different genes on and off.
Behavior and Genes

Behavior and Genes