Advertisement
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences

Criminal genes

Experts come together to revisit the controversial field of genetics and criminology.

By | June 22, 2011

MADAMEPSYCHOSIS / FLICKR

How genes influence a person’s risk for committing crimes has always been controversy-laden subject for experts, particularly criminologists and sociologists, who find it hard to disentangle it from notions of discrimination, racism, and eugenics. Yet as the general field of behavioral genetics gains momentum due to the recent explosion of genomic information, researchers are taking a hard, objective look at how inherited traits predispose people to violence and aggression.


This week for example, the National Institute of Justice’s annual conference devoted its opening session to the creation of databases of newly discovered forensic genetic markers, The New York Times reports. Such genetic markers include the serotonin-controlling monoamine oxidase A enzyme (MAO), certain variants of which have been linked to increased impulsivity and aggression. But experts are quick to stress that these genes merely predispose an individual to such behaviors and that additional environmental factors—such as stress, socio-economic background, and even marital status—are usually required for the negative manners to manifest. Therefore, the challenge going forward is not only to produce a list of genetic markers associated with criminal behavior, but to also identify the environmental factors with which they interact.

 

Advertisement

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You

You

Processing...
Processing...

Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Comments

Avatar of: Alan In Colorado

Anonymous

June 24, 2011

It might also help if you divide us into our two major groupings.  Most are non-insightful, committing largely spontaneous acts of violence, thievery, and the like.  But many of us sublimate our impulses into actions society approves, e.g. politics, military, police, and even a few in church hierarchies.  

In the second group, instead of aimlessness, I find there's a clarity of thought, unburdened by the machinations so-called moral people have.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

June 24, 2011

It might also help if you divide us into our two major groupings.  Most are non-insightful, committing largely spontaneous acts of violence, thievery, and the like.  But many of us sublimate our impulses into actions society approves, e.g. politics, military, police, and even a few in church hierarchies.  

In the second group, instead of aimlessness, I find there's a clarity of thought, unburdened by the machinations so-called moral people have.  

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

June 24, 2011

It might also help if you divide us into our two major groupings.  Most are non-insightful, committing largely spontaneous acts of violence, thievery, and the like.  But many of us sublimate our impulses into actions society approves, e.g. politics, military, police, and even a few in church hierarchies.  

In the second group, instead of aimlessness, I find there's a clarity of thought, unburdened by the machinations so-called moral people have.  

Advertisement
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences

Popular Now

  1. The Mycobiome
    Features The Mycobiome

    The largely overlooked resident fungal community plays a critical role in human health and disease.

  2. Antibody Alternatives
    Features Antibody Alternatives

    Nucleic acid aptamers and protein scaffolds could change the way researchers study biological processes and treat disease.

  3. Holding Their Ground
    Features Holding Their Ground

    To protect the global food supply, scientists want to understand—and enhance—plants’ natural resistance to pathogens.

  4. Circadian Clock and Aging
    Daily News Circadian Clock and Aging

    Whether a critical circadian clock gene is deleted before or after birth impacts the observed aging-related effects in mice.

Advertisement
PDA
PDA
Advertisement
Life Technologies