According to a publication in the Journal Nature Genetics, for the first time in history, researchers have isolated the parts of the human genome that could explain the differences in how humans experience happiness.
Now, before we all run out to get our genes changed via CRISPR, realize these genes do not make you happy. And in fact, epigenetics can influence how genes are expressed. The researchers found three genetic variants for happiness, two variants that can account for differences in symptoms of depression, and eleven locations on the human genome that could account for varying degrees of neuroticism. The genetic variants for happiness are mainly expressed in the central nervous system and the adrenal glands and pancreatic system.
I have not seen the full article yet, it is behind a pay firewall. So be leery of what I say next. A previous study using data from the World Values Survey in 2014 found a correlation between the allele value “A” in the “FAAH” gene rs324420. Nations with the highest prevalence of the “A” allele were also those who perceived themselves happiest.
So just for fun, I decided to look up values for this allele in 23andme data for some of my family members. Here are the results:
- AA – Sandra
- AC – Courtney, Debra, Jamie
- CC – Jim, Rachel
What fun! I better watch what I eat! I’m looking forward to finding a copy of the full study to see what the 16 real alleles are. Meanwhile, Rachel and I had better practice smiling! 🙂 BTW, this is a real tongue in cheek posting. Nothing said herein should be taken seriously. My biorhythms are just running high today.