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Biotech Science

Gene Found to Explain Repeated Mistakes 299

palegray.net writes "A December 6th article in Nature explores the relationship between a specific gene and those of us prone to repeatedly making the same mistakes. From the article: "Drug addicts, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers are known to be more likely than other people to have this genetic mutation ..." The gene results in the development of fewer D2 receptors in the brain, a condition which the study has shown leads to a lessened ability to learn from experience." So no complaining about dupes and typos: it's genetic!
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Gene Found to Explain Repeated Mistakes

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  • Re:Just what we need (Score:3, Informative)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @02:29PM (#21625513) Homepage Journal
    It's true.

    All these magic "genes" they find that "cause" behavior tend to have something like 1% to 20% of the total causes to the behavior. But the media always reports it as "The God Gene!" "The ADD Gene!" "The Novelty-Seeking Gene!"
  • Re:Just what we need (Score:2, Informative)

    by wish ( 60120 ) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @03:00PM (#21625781) Homepage
  • by sgt_doom ( 655561 ) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @05:06PM (#21626749)
    I'm afraid, QuickFox, you misconstrue the type of government America possesses. While Sweden is a civilized, socialist democracy, America is none of those things. Instead, it is now a Corporate Fascist State run as a criminal enterprise, in a state of artificial, perpetual war. The controlling entity is spread among the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Entertainment-Prison Complex - following a very similar agenda. Sadly, this can be traced back to the unheralded concentration of power in the hands of the Dulles brothers, and from there it degenerates.

    It is a backward, regressive and anti-progress social construct, an abnormal offshoot of the Third Reich - not incidentally why we now have a president who is the grandson of a Hitler supporter, Prescott Bush, and also the great-grandson of the first president and one of the founding members of the most virulently anti-worker organization in America, the National Association of Manufacturers.....

  • Re:Just what we need (Score:5, Informative)

    by Artifakt ( 700173 ) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @06:48PM (#21627377)
    My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and treated with Ritalin for a number of years. We eventually took her off it, against the school system's collective advice, and her grades and behavior improved remarkably, and she proved to be quite able to control and motivate herself. I question whether the diagnosis was ever really correct, but assuming it was, I'd like to add the following incident.

    Daughter was 9, and hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. Daughter pointed, and whispered "See that deer?" We looked, puzzled. Daughter: "That deer on the hill - no not that hill, the hill behind the other hill behind that hill." Focused 12x binoculars right where she pointed. Yep, there was a deer there, laying down in high grass, about 2 1/2 miles away. With binoculars, you could see just her head and neck. Daughter "She's pregnant!". Deer stood up, waddled a few feet - appeared either preggers or seriously overweight. Asked daughter "Was she standing up when you first saw her?". Daughter: "You can tell she's retaining fluids, like mommy did with me!".
          We've tested this various ways since. Take my daughter to a place where there are exposed fossils, and she can find dozens of specimens in the time it takes most people to find one. Fill a tabletop with a hundred intricate knick-knacks, glass figurines and such, let her look at it casually for a few seconds, and then leave. Let people rearrange a few items, take a few, or add a few new ones, then let her reenter the room and ask her to describe the changes (Do this without telling her it's a test).

    So it's nice you regard the speculation about 'great hunters' as amusing. I've heard it and similar from a lot of observers who think it is often objectively true. Doubtless not in nearly all cases, and yes, I have seen ADHD children whose behavior was eternally annoying to simply intolerable for even the shortest exposures, but given your remarks, you would doubtless be amazed by how often this sort of claim comes up. Many of the reports aren't from parents or guardians of the subjects in question. There's a large subset of ADHD kids that focus quite well to absolutely superlatively in some other settings, just not in school.
            While we're at it, a lot of these kids are regarded as needing medication by some female teacher, and any male teachers in the environment disagree, often strongly. Male teachers are 80% less likely to recommend an initial physician's visit than women, and even more likely to have the opinion that the child needs an outlet for his or her energies more than medication. Guess which gender was historically likely to be leading a hunting party?

              In my daughter's case, there is only one group of people who were shown objectively to be wrong. That's the teaching staff who repeatedly warned that her behavior would only worsen if she was taken off Ritalin, who were 180 degrees off axis. The exceptional 7th grade math teacher who saw her at a midnight public astronomy workshop, and said, "If she's like this when she hasn't had a pill since noon, get her off the pills and she can skip bonehead math and be learning calculus by her junior year." was apparently right. The people who dealt with her in the summer that year, and were offering her chances to volunteer at a local museum were right (and sad that their insurance wouldn't let them offer an apprenticeship to a child with her diagnosis). Outside of school, we saw very little ostracism, either by other children or adults. Sure there was some, she's a geek of the old block after all.

  • Re:Nurture (Score:3, Informative)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Saturday December 08, 2007 @08:41PM (#21627975) Homepage Journal

    You make it sound as if it's mildly astonishing that 2 children by the same parents could be so different.

    No, I didn't even address two children, much less causes. I talked about a (one) hyper child, that's all. Are you hallucinating?

  • by juggledean ( 792527 ) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @11:00PM (#21628607) Homepage Journal
    Science. 2007 Dec 7;318(5856):1642-5.

            Genetically determined differences in learning from errors.

            Klein TA, Neumann J, Reuter M, Hennig J, von Cramon DY, Ullsperger M.

    http://tinyurl.com/2z5dzt [tinyurl.com]

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.