Monday, March 12, 2012

Rattling Around

Rattling around in my head today is an article from Scientific American about this gene, called CHRM2, whose various expressions appear to be correlated with depression, unruly childhood behavior, high intelligence and alcoholism.

Wha-a-at? Yes. Fascinating.

The theory goes that when this gene is confronted with unstable, uninvolved, volatile parenting... well... it is more likely to result in alcoholism or aggression in teenagers. And when this gene is confronted with engaged, positive, nurturing and involved parenting... it results in wildly successful and intelligent citizens.

It is truly being called the orkidebarn or maskrosbarn theory (Swedish for... orchid child or dandelion child). Dandelion children are the resilient children... they can, and usually do, thrive in any kind of environment. But the orchid children - they are delicate. They have the capacity for incredible beauty, for outshining others - but they also have the capacity to wilt beyond repair without tender, careful care. They're not to be stepped on. Mistakes weigh on them.

I suspect we'll learn more and more and more in my lifetime about various genes, and the effect nurture has on them in each person, depending on the variance in the gene we happen to be housing. But isn't it fascinating!?

(More here.)

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