Genetics play 40 percent role in political affiliation, new study finds- A surprising new study suggests DNA plays a role in a person’s political leanings. Indiana University professor, researcher and author Bill Sullivan explains. – Why we like what we like: A scientist’s surprising findings – Your genes, your germs, and your environment all may influence your tastes in food—as well as partners and politics. Scientists have uncovered distinct personality traits that tend to be associated with people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. In general, liberals tend to be more open-minded, creative, and novelty seeking; conservatives tend to be more orderly and conventional, and to prefer stability. Identical twins separated at birth and raised in different environments typically find their political stances in agreement when reunited, suggesting a genetic component to our political compass. Several studies suggest that variations in our dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) influence whether we vote red or blue. Dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in the brain, associated with our reward and pleasure center; variations in DRD4 have been tied to novelty seeking and risktaking, behaviors more commonly associated with liberals.
Other research has shown that certain areas in the brain are different for liberals and conservatives, and this may affect how they respond to stressful stimuli. For example, conservatives tend to have a larger amygdala, the fear center of the brain, and have stronger physiological reactions to unpleasant photos or sounds. Considered together, these biological differences may partially explain why it’s so difficult for a liberal or conservative to get the other to “see the light.” You’re asking people not just to change their mind but also to resist their biology.Are you really just a pile of genes? Technically, yes. But embedded within your genome, there are many potential versions of you. The person you see in the mirror is just one of them, fished out by the unique things you’ve been exposed to since conception. The new science of epigenetics is the study of how chemical changes made to DNA, or proteins that interact with DNA, can affect gene activity. DNA can be modified by environmental factors in ways that can profoundly affect development and behavior. Recently, it’s also been shown that the microbes in your body—aka your microbiome—can be a significant environmental factor that affects myriad behaviors, from overeating to depression. In sum, we are our genes—but our genes cannot be evaluated outside the context of our environment. Genes are the piano keys, but the environment plays the song.
#Genetics #Biology #Politics
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