Friday, January 18, 2013

Science: Gened Up For Success

Most modern genetic research steer around any discussion that may imply any correlation between a person's likelihood to succeed in a society and his genome, until recently.

In a paper published in the Leadership Quarterly, researchers 'address leadership emergence and the possibility that there is a partially innate predisposition to occupy a leadership role.' In plain English, if your body holds rs4950, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) residing on a neuronal acetylcholine receptor gene (CHRNB3), you are on your way to become a leader, regardless of your education experience or your parents's social status.

In today's politically correct scientific community, it is inappropriate to suggest genetic differences between two groups. For example, scholars recognize the biological difference between men and women (they have different reproductive organs, to begin with), and they even recognize some genes difference may contribute to higher risk of certain diseases. However, they do not want to comment on whether some of the genetic difference may contribute to differences in developing or processing certain skills. For example, whether one group is more likely to make logical decisions, or whether one group is more likely to turn out good drivers.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Slava Mikhaylov, Christopher T. Dawes, Nicholas A. Christakis, James H. Fowler. Born to lead? A twin design and genetic association study of leadership role occupancy. The Leadership Quarterly, 2013; 24 (1): 45 DOI: 10.1016/j.leaqua.2012.08.001

Readers shouldn't be surprised when asked for a voluntary biological sample by future employers, as having been forecast-ed in movie Gattaca (1997). There could be kiosk booth along vending machines, which is labeled, 'leave us a hair, we may have a job for you (we do not share your genome information with 3rd party).'

A separated research identified genes that are responsible for a particular useful engineering skill: digging advanced tunnels. Apparently it is safer when we were not talking about human subjects, thus the appearance in Nature: Behaviour genes unearthed, Nature 493, 284 (17 January 2013).

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