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hope
28-10-14, 15:47
I came across this abstract this morning by chance whilst reading a related topic. It is an abstract which is behind a pay-wall unfortunately. However, what it regards is a genetic analysis, carried out via two independent studies of Finnish prisoners who had committed violent crime.
The study suggests to have identified two genes associated with violent crime and found them to be present in those who had done so.
The two genes are the MAOA gene [ dubbed previously as the "warrior gene" because of links to aggressive behaviours] and the CDH 13 gene, neuronal membrane adhesion protein [ associated with control of impulsive behaviour and substance abuse]
On testing those who had committed non-violent crimes they say no substantial figure for such was found among this group.
This is the abstract:
http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp2014130a.html

I had a look on the usual sites but nothing regarding this study has yet been listed.


EDIT: Here we go, this piece is given by BBC news.

It seems the group in the study was made up from almost 900 prisoners which included those convicted of murder, manslaughter, attempted homicide and battery. It also says those with these genes had 13 times higher rate of re-offending. However, as you read there is a point made also for environmental factors. Also, Jari Tihonen of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden states, "even if an individual has a high risk combination of these two genes the majority will never commit a crime" suggesting that while the relative risk would be increased, the absolute risk is very low. Not sure how worthwhile this is then, but here is the piece by BBC. It is an interesting read at least.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29760212

LeBrok
29-10-14, 16:51
Very interesting, hope. Is it the true addictive personality gene? When a person can't stop drinking after couple of glasses, and continue drinking to get higher and higher till the bottle is empty.


A deficiency of the enzyme this controls could result in "dopamine hyperactivity" especially when an individual drinks alcohol or takes drugs such as amphetamines, said Prof Tiihonen. The majority of all individuals who commit severe violent crime in Finland do so under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


I always suspected strong genetic predispositions in "directing" our lives. What will happen to justice system when it becomes obvious that our "free will" is not very free? Will all criminals become psychiatric patients?

hope
29-10-14, 22:29
Very interesting, hope. Is it the true addictive personality gene? When a person can't stop drinking after couple of glasses, and continue drinking to get higher and higher till the bottle is empty.
Addiction, LeBrok, is a pretty complex thing and I wouldn`t say there was only one particular gene responsible for it. There will likely be many genes involved. I don`t think it likely either that everyone who carries a gene that may show up as one linked to a particular addiction, will necessarily develop an addiction. For a small example of some genes at work... the A1 allele of the dopamine receptor gene DRD2.. [ sounds like Star Wars..right?] .. is more common in people addicted to alcohol and cocaine. Alcoholism is somewhat rarer in those who carry two copies of the ALDH*2 gene variation. Non-smokers are more likely to carry the protective allele of the CYP2A6 gene and can feel sick if they smoke. So there are going to be lots of different genes linked to addiction and even different addictions. So no, I wouldn`t say we have found "the" addiction gene. Plus, lets not forget environmental factors which could play quite a big part also. For the person who cannot stop drinking, there may be either genes or environment or both, that promotes this.
It is true that addiction can run in families and has been shown to do so. However, I think we would still have to look at environment here also eg: has the person developed an addiction solely through genes or also because the behaviour was seen as something done within the family? Likewise has an addiction developed as way of escaping something ? The more studies that are done, the more we learn.




I always suspected strong genetic predispositions in "directing" our lives. What will happen to justice system when it becomes obvious that our "free will" is not very free? Will all criminals become psychiatric patients?
I hope not, but there will no doubt be some smooth talking lawyer who will try to play the genetics card [ as in fact the second abstract quoted shows] The thing is, we all have some depth of knowledge between right and wrong. We all know killing someone is wrong and against the law besides. Even if a good lawyer wants to say his client was unable to abstain from murder because of his genetic make-up, I don`t see it getting his client off the hook. If his client is in such turmoil, [cannot control his actions because of his genes [ I`m not buying, are you?] then he is going to be a permanent threat to society and should be removed from it. He may well need psychiatric evaluation and treatment beside, which he should rightly receive, whilst incarcerated.

LeBrok
30-10-14, 00:24
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Addiction, LeBrok, is a pretty complex thing and I wouldn`t say there was only one particular gene responsible for it. There will likely be many genes involved. I don`t think it likely either that everyone who carries a gene that may show up as one linked to a particular addiction, will necessarily develop an addiction. For a small example of some genes at work... the A1 allele of the dopamine receptor gene DRD2.. [ sounds like Star Wars..right?] .. is more common in people addicted to alcohol and cocaine. Alcoholism is somewhat rarer in those who carry two copies of the ALDH*2 gene variation. Non-smokers are more likely to carry the protective allele of the CYP2A6 gene and can feel sick if they smoke. So there are going to be lots of different genes linked to addiction and even different addictions. So no, I wouldn`t say we have found "the" addiction gene. Plus, lets not forget environmental factors which could play quite a big part also. For the person who cannot stop drinking, there may be either genes or environment or both, that promotes this.
It is true that addiction can run in families and has been shown to do so. However, I think we would still have to look at environment here also eg: has the person developed an addiction solely through genes or also because the behaviour was seen as something done within the family? Likewise has an addiction developed as way of escaping something ? The more studies that are done, the more we learn. I agree, many genes will be involved in addictions, that's for sure, and environment plays substantial role too.
What I meant how genetic predisposition come in picture is, that giving similar environment, some people will taste cocaine or alcohol once and they will be hooked. For others it will take many more tries to like it or they will feel more sick than high, some others can enjoy it but have better control and can stop at will. I also think that strength of will will have genetic base too, as following social norms.





I hope not, but there will no doubt be some smooth talking lawyer who will try to play the genetics card [ as in fact the second abstract quoted shows] The thing is, we all have some depth of knowledge between right and wrong. We all know killing someone is wrong and against the law besides. Even if a good lawyer wants to say his client was unable to abstain from murder because of his genetic make-up, I don`t see it getting his client off the hook. If his client is in such turmoil, [cannot control his actions because of his genes [ I`m not buying, are you?] then he is going to be a permanent threat to society and should be removed from it. He may well need psychiatric evaluation and treatment beside, which he should rightly receive, whilst incarcerated.
I think we already have this double standard in judicial system. Some people who committed crimes are not prosecuted, because psychiatric assessment renders them mentally sick, not fit for trial. However at the moment it is not known what percentage of these folks have genetic predispositions, mutations, recombinations, deletions or other genetic malfunction standing behind mental problems. There are easy cases though, people with sever down syndrome wont go to jail even if they kill in anger. Once we start looking into genetic causes and predispositions, many more people will get off the hook or sentences will be reduced.

Other way to look at this problem and avoid this pandora box, is to get away with punishment and look at jails as places of re-education and isolation dangerous elements from mainstream society, as long as they are dangerous. Pretty much what are psychiatric hospitals for dangerous individuals already. Even though they can't be prosecuted, they are technically in jail, till they get better. In some cases till the end of their lives.

Interesting hypothetical scenario. In few hundred years when we can predict human personality and behavior from all the genes, it will be possible to predict that some people will commit violent crime with 99.9% probability. Will society wait for sure murder to happen, or will they act sooner and isolate this individual after puberty? Guilty in anticipation of future crime?
Armed with such powerful knowledge, will be damned if we do and will be damned if we don't, lol.

Angela
30-10-14, 05:38
In the American criminal justice system, "insanity" enters into the equation in two separate ways. A defendant is constitutionally entitled to participate in his or her own defense. In certain situations, their competency to do so is obviously in question. So, a hearing is held to make that determination. Someone who is in a full blown catatonic state, for example, can't participate. Such a person goes into treatment, is suitably medicated, and then the process can hopefully begin.

Then there is the so called "insanity" defense. Certain specific standards have to be met. It's part of a defense attorney's job to make the case, but it almost never works, even in cases where I think it should work, and I'm the hanging prosecutor/judge type. That's because people don't understand or believe it. If the defendant knew the difference between right and wrong at the moment of the act, it doesn't apply, and very often juries don't find it. Also, the slightest indication of planning and rational thought destroys it.

One example where it should have applied was in a case where a woman in the throes of the worst postpartum depression ever recorded killed her young children. (It wasn't even postpartum depression; it was postpartum psychosis. Her crime so appalled the Texas jury that they just found her guilty. Ultimately, the case was retried as the medical evidence which had been ignored in the first trial showed that she was so ill she thought she was saving the children from some terrible state. The doctor who examined her after her arrest said he had never seen such a psychiatrically disassociated person. Of course, she'll probably never be free, nor does she seem to want to be, but at least she is in a humane psychiatric hospital. There are also cases, for example, where the person goes berserk,to use a very legal term, :) because of a brain tumor or something similar. You're not going to get cut any slack if you chose to take Meth and then commit some horrific crime.

I'm not saying that the rules should be so stringent. I do believe that some people have such diminished capacity that this should be a factor in charging, punishment etc. Sometimes juries also intervene. It's called jury nullification. A father whose child was raped planned to buy a shotgun and shoot the man, and he did it; no temporary insanity, nothing. The jury refused to convict and there was nothing to be done.

hope
30-10-14, 14:21
What I meant how genetic predisposition come in picture is, that giving similar environment, some people will taste cocaine or alcohol once and they will be hooked. For others it will take many more tries to like it or they will feel more sick than high, some others can enjoy it but have better control and can stop at will. I also think that strength of will will have genetic base too, as following social norms.
We all know the pattern toward addiction...try, like, repeat. So how does this work for those who try, dislike, yet still repeat? Surely in these cases we could find environmental factors? Again why does say, one sibling try alcohol, like and not be sick whilst the other might try yet be sick? Well to go back to an earlier post remember some who carry the gene CYP2A6 will be sick if they smoke whilst others without it may not [surely will be lots more genes involved] So perhaps there is something similar regarding alcohol and also regarding drugs? But I agree with you that those who achieve pleasure from first experience may be quicker to repeat.
Is there a gene which will say this baby will become an alcoholic or tobacco smoker etc...I don`t think so. But there is likely some mutation which if given the right environment and stimuli will likely result quicker in some people over others. Genetics and environment play roles. But this is not to say such a baby will absolutely because of its genetic make-up become such. After all there will always be those with similar genes who do not become addicts.
Strength of will and genetics... There was a twin study done by Edinburgh University a few years back which stated to have shown a genetic difference in self control and the ability to restrain and persist when faced with difficulty. I don`t know what further studies regarding such have shown however. I think will power can also be improved upon by an individual via learning how better to control thoughts and attention.




Interesting hypothetical scenario. In few hundred years when we can predict human personality and behavior from all the genes, it will be possible to predict that some people will commit violent crime with 99.9% probability. Will society wait for sure murder to happen, or will they act sooner and isolate this individual after puberty? Guilty in anticipation of future crime?.
Something like Minority Report..lol.
Well we already have some medications which control certain psychological diseases, maybe in a few hundred years if we can find all genes responsible for certain conditions, then we can expand on medication linked to personal genetic needs. Not a new idea I admit. When might we think about administering them and would everyone with similar genetic make-up require them? Yet again, we need to consider environmental factors in all of this. Besides do you think we will ever be able to absolutely predict how a human will act, certainly we can estimate reaction gained by knowledge but I`m not sure we will ever be able to say any person will definitely act in a certain way beyond a doubt?
But let`s say, hypothetically, we could at some distant point do this...and we know there will be a great amount of genetic material involved etc etc...but hypothetically, if we could, and we were 99.9% sure a certain person would without doubt commit a violent crime, such as murder..I can see why some might argue against removing that person from society before they acted ie: 1%. Question is, would that 1% be enough to keep them in society?

hope
30-10-14, 16:38
One example where it should have applied was in a case where a woman in the throes of the worst postpartum depression ever recorded killed her young children. (It wasn't even postpartum depression; it was postpartum psychosis. Her crime so appalled the Texas jury that they just found her guilty. Ultimately, the case was retried as the medical evidence which had been ignored in the first trial showed that she was so ill she thought she was saving the children from some terrible state. The doctor who examined her after her arrest said he had never seen such a psychiatrically disassociated person. Of course, she'll probably never be free, nor does she seem to want to be, but at least she is in a humane psychiatric hospital.

Postpartum psychosis is a good example, Angela. I think even now, many in the public do not understand it and still confuse it`s early signs as Postnatal Depression..baby blues. It could not be further from this. Awareness of the condition has become better in the last decade but still has a way to go IMO to reach everyone. This is very important because with this condition, there is, if not recognised and treated, usually a very sad outcome for mother and child/children. I actually posted here regarding PPP a while back, my small contribution to help try highlight a serious issue.

kamani
30-10-14, 21:38
MAOA is found in the X-chromosome, does this mean a male can inherit the warrior-gene only from his mother?

LeBrok
30-10-14, 22:47
We all know the pattern toward addiction...try, like, repeat. So how does this work for those who try, dislike, yet still repeat? If you truly experienced only pain, you won't repeat it. However could you feel high during indulgent process, but sick afterwards. In this case you would experience a fight of two feelings, pleasure from remembering high, and feeling of pain from hangover. One would make you want to try again, the other would make you think to avoid. Depending which one is stronger, or mood you are in, you will lean certain way in your choice. It is a typical dilemma, like having an Angel, on one shoulder, telling you don't, and Devil telling you go ahead. Our feelings doing exactly this job.



Surely in these cases we could find environmental factors? Again why does say, one sibling try alcohol, like and not be sick whilst the other might try yet be sick? Well to go back to an earlier post remember some who carry the gene CYP2A6 will be sick if they smoke whilst others without it may not [surely will be lots more genes involved] So perhaps there is something similar regarding alcohol and also regarding drugs? All the addictions piggy back on already existing pathways in the brain. For example like pathways related to eating or sex, the pathways established in our brains millions of years ago to keep us alive. For example we all have food addiction, we just don't call it addiction because it is useful and good. I don't even mean the extreme obesity cases.
We all feel hunger/pain when stomach is empty. By this feeling we are forced to eat, feeling enjoyment of the smells and tastes. Afterward we feel satisfaction. Same with sex, we can't seem to have enough of the person we love. In all these cases we dopamine and other neuro transmitters giving us please and pain. The main action of reward, punishment and withdrawal happens in brain. Alcohol, nicotine or cocaine, act on our existing brain architecture and chemistry, tricking us in need of these substances. No new system needs to be developed in our brains to indulge in these drugs, just learning simple association. That's why people get hooked so fast on them.



Strength of will and genetics... There was a twin study done by Edinburgh University a few years back which stated to have shown a genetic difference in self control and the ability to restrain and persist when faced with difficulty. I don`t know what further studies regarding such have shown however. I think will power can also be improved upon by an individual via learning how better to control thoughts and attention. I think there should be school classes teaching our children this. How to strengthen self control.

hope
31-10-14, 00:52
MAOA is found in the X-chromosome, does this mean a male can inherit the warrior-gene only from his mother?
Yes kamani, a son gets his X chromosome from his mother and if the so called "warrior" version of the MAOA gene is on the X chromosome she passes to him, then that is where he will get it.
But I think it`s important to remember there are lots of people who have this gene and never commit any crime or exhibit any deviant behaviour. There are several different genes up to now have been shown as perhaps possible links to certain aggressive behaviours and I think naming this gene as the warrior gene can be a bit misleading. I read somewhere that it was only called this because it was one of the first found with links to such behaviour...I don`t know if that`s true or if I am remembering it wrong.

Angela
31-10-14, 02:27
Yes kamani, a son gets his X chromosome from his mother and if the so called "warrior" version of the MAOA gene is on the X chromosome she passes to him, then that is where he will get it.
But I think it`s important to remember there are lots of people who have this gene and never commit any crime or exhibit any deviant behaviour. There are several different genes up to now have been shown as perhaps possible links to certain aggressive behaviours and I think naming this gene as the warrior gene can be a bit misleading. I read somewhere that it was only called this because it was one of the first found with links to such behaviour...I don`t know if that`s true or if I am remembering it wrong.

It doesn't go back in a straight line, however. A man gets his X from his mother, but a woman gets one X from her mother and one X from her father (which he got from his mother). So it's always on the X, but a man's X could come from the mother's father's family. Anyway, I think that's the way it works.

kamani
31-10-14, 04:00
interesting! So the phrase "like father like son" is actually incorrect. There is no way a father can pass his "warrior" gene to his son. For this case, the phrase should be "like maternal-uncle like nephew" or "like maternal-grandfather like nephew". Do we know of any warrior tribes that were matriarchal, I believe Illyrians were in their beginnings.

LeBrok
31-10-14, 04:19
interesting! So the phrase "like father like son" is actually incorrect. There is no way a father can pass his "warrior" gene to his son. For this case, the phrase should be "like maternal-uncle like nephew" or "like maternal-grandfather like nephew". Do we know of any warrior tribes that were matriarchal, I believe Illyrians were in their beginnings.
Grandfather can give an X to his grandson though, and his grandson to his grandson, etc. Grandfather gives his X to his daughter, then his daughter (now a mother) gives her X to her son.

kamani
31-10-14, 04:31
Since all countries in Europe have very similar mt-dna, that means all Europeans are genetically very similar in terms of agressivity and criminal behavior. Most actual differences are situational and not genetical. Is this also true?

LeBrok
31-10-14, 04:44
And similar in heroism and comradery, also warrior like behaviors.

Angela
31-10-14, 04:56
Well, it might work out that way and it might not. It's very difficult to track X inheritance. I have two X's, one from my mother, and one from my father. Only one gets passed to my son, but without genetic testing, there's no way to determine which one got passed down. Going back one generation, my mother got one X from her mother's family and one from her father's family. Without genetic testing, how would I know which one I got and so can pass down?

Of course, in small communities that have intermarried for years, it all gets passed around.

Since we're talking about psychiatric issues (although it also applies to more purely physical issues), if there is a defective mutation in the X it's more likely to be expressed in male offspring than in female offspring, because with two X's, there's a chance that there is one "good" allele which will offset the "bad" allele.

Kamani, your question jogged my memory. A good number of American Indian Tribes, like the Creeks, for example, were matrilineal in terms of descent. So, Creek children were considered part of the mother's clan. Her clan status, the same as her male clan relatives, secured the status of her children. Property also passed through the maternal line. In this kinship system, a boy's maternal uncle was more important to his upbringing than his biological father. In fact, the boys often didn't have much of a relationship with their biological fathers. They lived with the mother's clan and in her family's dwelling, and the boys were raised by her eldest brother.

kamani
31-10-14, 05:48
I guess the Creeks figured these genetical tendencies through observation Angela. In a fighting culture like theirs, it would make sense for someone with the warrior gene to stick with people from his mother side, since a lot of them probably also have it, and the group would fare better in a conflict. By the same logic a matriarchal warrior clan would be super-violent in a fight, measured by usual standards.

There is a popular belief in some circles that women in tribal communities were attracted to the fiercest warriors of the tribe who usually happened to be leaders. This was because their sons would also be strong warriors like the father. This study modifies that last sentence, since the sons don't get it, at most it is the grandsons from his daughters. Plus her own X chromosomes enter the equation too.

motzart
08-11-14, 21:55
The "warrior" gene is a stupid name. Being a warrior is about discipline, steadfastness, stoicism, and leadership by example. People who are prone to violent emotional reactions are just assholes, but I suppose the "*******" gene isn't as fashionable.

kamani
08-11-14, 22:23
As a gene it is more common in Maori and Africans, in East-Asians it is almost in-existent (so much for all that samurai BS), hence I would be careful calling it anything negative, since it can very easily take racial notes. From what I'm reading it is not as much about aggressive behavior as it is about retaliatory behavior. So: genetically retaliatory + low intelligience + poor upbringing = dangerous.