On BioScience and Life and Such

A Christmas Reminder and ……duh !

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 at 11:02 am

post to news.thinkgene.com

Father Christmas // Santa Claus // Père Noël
Image by Stéfan via Flickr

To those who read this post – a merry Christmas !

This appeared on several science news sites recently: “Genes may influence popularity“.

I’d like to point out a few things.

Firstly: ……………..duh………….Why is its news that anyone of your skills, your looks or your social behavior (you and your genes) makes you popular (or unpopular).

Secondly: For thousands and thousands of people Christmas is associated with loneliness. Christmas being a family and friends holiday, exacerbate their feeling of being left out, of being unpopular.  To those I’d like to point out that genes do not predestine you to unpopularity or loneliness. To be included in a community, to feel appreciated or even popular, you do not need a rule-breaking gene, a pretty face, athletic skills or extraordinary jolly christmassy outgoingness.

Thirdly: Please pay special attention to the word “may” in the news-headline. This gene may happen to be (mildly ?) associated with a specific behavior, but most certainly there are many other factors, genetic or social, that plays a role in complex behaviour leading to popularity (the actual paper isn’t out so it’s hard to thoroughly review the genetics). One should regard this research as one of many attempts to understand human behavior biology, another tiny step (forwards or backwards !) in a quest that will take many years, perhaps never to be completed.

Nature and nurture teams up and works against some of us sometimes, this becomes especially apparent during Christmas. But, if you want to help others feel popular this holiday ? Forget about genetics  – caring for, and paying attention to, others does the trick:

So what’s the “gene therapy” for those with genetic loneliness? Community service, social interaction, anything to get people out and to give them a sense that they are not alone in the world [says these researchers]. It gives them a sense that they belong. – Summer Johnson, PhD (taken from blog.bioethics.net)
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  1. I do not know if my “scientific loneliness” is genetic in nature, but I am very suffering from it! A necessary explanation: at URL http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/19/harald-zu-hausens-nobel-p_n_152273.htmlin the Times Of London announces:
    Harald Zur Hausen’s Nobel Prize Scandal: Did Drug Company Exert Undue Influence? Even if true, I consider that less scandal than that I illustrate elsewhere: Only women with ONCOLOGICAL TERRAIN and OT-dependent Real Risk of Crevical Cancer have to be vaccinated against HPV (16-18)! Advicing to all teen-agers to undrgo HPV-caccination indicates Middle Ages of today’s Medicine.

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