Tech UPTechnologyA scientific team identifies more than 700 genes that...

A scientific team identifies more than 700 genes that mark personality

Scientists from the University of Granada and Washington University in Saint Louis (USA) have identified more than 700 genes linked to temperament and character, two terms that we usually use synonymously, although they are not: temperament understands our reactions basic and instinctual emotional, marked by genetic inheritance. It influences the character, but it is built from our life experiences and the environment.

This finding, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry , could serve to better understand the basic mechanisms of our emotions and the way we control them (or not), although much remains to be investigated, given the enormous complexity of the relationship between the set of genes of an individual (genotype) and the way they are expressed depending on the environment (called phenotype).

The authors of the work point out that between 30 and 60 percent of the human personality is hereditary, and that this part that comes “standard” depends on hundreds of genetic variants. So far very few have been identified.

How have they done it?

The research has been based on genetic samples and studies of the personality and environment of 2,149 healthy Finns who were followed between 1980 and 2012, so that the data included subjects of both sexes between three and fifty years. That is, both the genotype and the phenotype of the individuals have been taken into account.

Scientists have used machine learning tools (a branch of artificial intelligence) coupled with a genome-wide association study (GWAS), a type of analysis that makes it possible to identify genetic variations associated with an observable trait In a person.

Thanks to this method, they have recognized groupings of genes that interact with each other and with the environment, and have found more than 700 genes linked to basic personality traits (degree of initiative, willingness to collaborate, selfishness …) that influence health. For greater precision, the scientists repeated their analysis with two samples of 1,052 Koreans and 952 Germans with genotypes and phenotypes similar to the original Finnish sample.

The researchers affirm that their work shows that there are basic personality traits strongly influenced by the interactions between more than 700 genes, regardless of environmental and cultural variables. Such genes, they say, modulate molecular processes in the brain linked to empathy, memory, learning, reflection and goal setting.

Image: University of Granada

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