Friday, June 26, 2009

The Gangster Gene

Scientists at Florida State University believe they've found a gene that predicts a person's likelihood of being a gang member. I haven't had my genome sequence yet, but I'm anxious to see if this is why I have a predilection for wearing satin embroidered jackets and walking down the street while rhythmically snapping. They found that men with a form of the MAOA gene that causes low production of the protein monoamine oxidase A were twice as likely to be gangsters than men with the more common form of the gene. Previously, this mutation has been linked with violent behavior in those who experienced abuse as children, but this new study rules out the child abuse variable when it comes to gang activity. Some parents-to-be might want to use this information to genetically engineer a non-gangster child, but while that kind of baby designing is probably a long way off, I think I'd go the opposite route. When I'm old and crotchety, it'll be nice to, instead of shaking my fist at all those punk kids down the street, just send my son and his boys to pop some caps. More details here.