Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Finnish Scientist Confirm "Warrior Gene" Finding

The Independent reports:
A study looking at the genetic makeup of 895 criminals in Finland has discovered a pair of genes linked with extreme violent behaviour. 
The research, carried out by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and published in the journal Molecular Pyschiatry, compared the genes of non-violent offenders with a group of 78 individuals convicted of violent crimes. 
Experts involved in the study say that the majority of violent crime in any society is usually carried out by a small group of repeat offenders who resist attempts at rehabilitation. 
The group of 78 were responsible for a total of 1,154 murders, manslaughters, attempted homicides or batteries and the geneticists concluded that between 4 and 10 per cent of all violent crimes in Finland could be traced back to individuals with these genotypes.
All those in the study that had committed murder (including a secondary group of 114 individuals who had all killed at least one person) possessed the MAOA gene, with a variant gene of cadherin 13 or CDH13 also found to be common among violent offenders.
The MAOA gene is sometimes known as the “warrior gene” and is associated with higher levels of aggression in response to provocation, while studies into CDH13 have associated it with substance abusers and low impulse control.
However, the article then goes on to caution that having the gene does not correspond to a higher rate of violent crime, directly contradicting the findings from the geneticists.

The "warrior gene" is controversial because it is more common among black men--almost 10 times as many black men have the gene than whites. The latter article from The Unsilenced Science notes:

... The MAOA gene has a portion with repeated segments of DNA. This section of the gene is called a promoter because having more repeats increases the amount of enzyme that the gene produces (with a rare, debatable exception). After a 2002 study found that having three repeats together with having suffered child abuse is somewhat associated with violent tendencies, a flood of follow-up research ensued, and MAOA was relabeled “the warrior gene.” This version of the gene and one with four repeats are the most common versions, or alleles. These studies always had a few people with neither the 3-repeat nor the 4-repeat allele. A small number only had 2-repeats. The scientists decided that having 2-repeats in the promoter is sort of like having 3-repeats, so they invented the term “MAOA-L.” (“L” stands for low. Pretty clever, huh?) However, a pair of studies in 2008 found that the 2-repeat allele is associated with twice the rate of violence without child abuse coming into the equation. This allele is less powerful than Brunner syndrome but far more common. 
Two small studies gave hints that the especially dangerous 2-repeat allele might be more common among African Americans. One study wrote that 6% of their non-white (but probably mostly African-American) male subjects had this allele. The other had 5 of 37 (14%) African-American men possessing “rare MAOA alleles.” Those percentages are remarkable given that studies of white men have suggested that 1% or fewer have this gene. 
If a single gene could offer some explanation as to why African-Americans commit roughly five times as many violent crimes per capita as whites, then wouldn’t studying it potentially save countless lives and deserve a Nobel Prize? After all, even a case of Brunner syndrome was effectively treated for a period with an antipsychotic. Well, at long last, Reti et al determined that 0.5% of white MAOA genes and 4.7% of African-American MAOA genes are this 2-repeat allele, almost a ten-fold difference.
See also the following article at Conservative News.

See, liberals think it is more important to have politically correct thought--and therefore attempt to squelch any study of such links--than to try and figure out a treatment or cure. To the liberals, it isn't about helping anyone (such as young black men) but in making themselves feel better about themselves.

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