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Mar
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๐Ÿ”ด Tom & the “Risk-Taking” Gene

 

๐Ÿ”ด Tom Keen and the “Risk-Taking” Gene

 
March 14, 2015
 
There is a genomic marker (SNP) sometimes called “the love gene” (GG variant for SNP rs53576) http://bit.ly/1wniMDR About 40% of Westerners have this variant. When combined with another gene (AA or AG for rs2254298) http://bit.ly/18nPCKM, what results, for males who grew up in non-nurturing early childhood environments, is a higher likelihood that a person will develop psychiatric disorders AND/OR that he will be a risk-taker. Both “genes” or SNPs are located on the Oxytocin molecule. The psychiatric disorders include depression, borderline personality, sociopathy and psychopathy.

A positive early childhood experience, on the other hand, childhood enhances leadership qualities and results in individuals with larger social networks than typical. “Leadership” can be seen as itself involving risk-taking tendencies. CEOs score higher on tests for psychopathic traits than others. http://for.tn/1EeaX1L. This combination of genes is sbout twice as common in the West (Europe and America) as in the East (Japan, Korea, China).

Though this combination seems elaborate, it is well-documented. The theory is that people with this combination tend to be, indeed, “special,” contributing to the greater frequency of risk-taking and adventurousness in the societies in which it is prevalent, traits which in the West have come to be valued. This is one of several genomic pre-dispositions, known essentially only to the scientists studying them (due to the utter lack of media attention), which seem to provide a genetic underpinning for arguments like the one made by the Chinese, that Western values (eg “human rights” and “freedom of speech”) cannot be applied without discretion across all cultures. Don’t forget that in the “alliance,” “Jasper sides with the Chinese.”

China and Russia favor “state capitalism” (what we call “crony capitalism”) in which companies are selected and supported by the government and other businesses may be actively undercut (especially in Russia). Such countries also tend to oppose freedom of speech and demand strict controls over the Internet. Red Reddington disappeared on the night before the World Wide Web went live. The WWW made the Internet accessible to non-geeks. Perhaps this was because the Fulcrum’s blackmail file indicated “the alliance” planned to undermine the Internet.

As for the West, this idea runs head-long into the prevailing ethic of postmodernism that all cultures are equal (this view, in turn, grew out of anti-colonialism). In the East, pride is taken in the much less prevalent occurrence of psychiatric conditions http://bit.ly/1I6cSur. Scientists studying the genes, on the other hand, argue that there are benefits to the greater frequency of these genes in the gene pools in which they are more common, or they would not have been selected for.

Scientists at UCSB studying recent Asia immigrants note that “OXTR is significantly associated with emotion suppression in both Korea and the United States โ€“ but in opposite directions. This may be because not only is there a norm of emotion suppression in Korea but there is also a counter-norm of emotion expression in the United States (Butler et al. 2009, Kim & Chu 2011).” http://bit.ly/1uJZUsd

My guess is that the “sociopathic” profile (Red’s term) that The Major has looked for, combined with high intelligence, involved seeking out children with such risk-taking behaviors (adventurousness and pre-disposition to challenge authority) at a point in their lives at which such capabilities could be molded.

I put together a bibliography on “the love gene” over the hiatus of The Blacklist http://bit.ly/12ZWgEP. A search on this file for “risk” results in 15 hits, many of which link to articles discussing the rs2254298โœ›rs53576 phenomenon. This provides a potential scientific foundation for the search by The Major for the “special” children he keeps files on, and later possibly abducts or cajols into attending his “finishing school.”

โ‹™ This is the best article: BioMedCentral (2012), Martin Brรผner: Does the oxytocin receptor polymorphism (rs2254298) confer โ€˜vulnerabilityโ€™ for psychopathology or โ€˜differential susceptibilityโ€™? Insights from evolution http://bit.ly/1sm9MxW 4/17/2012

A few excerpts:

“[T]he same allelic variation that predisposes to a psychiatric disorder if associated with (developmentally early) environmental adversity may lead to a better-than-average functional outcome in the same domain under thriving (or favourable) environmental conditions.”

โ€œEvidence from cross-cultural genetic studies suggests [that this gene] emerged some 50,000 years ago in human populations โ€ฆ The seven-repeat allele has repetitively (though inconsistently) been associated with the personality trait โ€˜novelty seekingโ€™, a human attribute that arguably may have conferred a reproductive advantage in recent human history.”

โ€œ…There are profound differences in the frequency of A alleles [for rs2254298] between human populations. The question whether or not these population differences are due to founder effects, positive selection or a selective sweep is unclear.โ€

“Under thriving conditions the same variation may have advantageous effects on an individualโ€™s social network, hence supporting the view that all genetic variation may not unequivocally be linked to greater vulnerability but, rather, to increased plasticity.โ€

 

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