“Genes Make You Generous,” Says Study

GenesLondon: Generosity is in the genes, according to a new research.

Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel found some people are genetically destined to have a generous personality.

A gene called AVPRI enables the arginine vasopressin hormone to act on brain cells. Vasopressin has been implicated in social bonding.

Dr Ariel Knafo from the Psychology Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said, “The experiment provided the first evidence, to my knowledge, for a relationship between DNA variability and real human altruism.”

Researchers conducted an experiment with 203 online participants. Each could choose to keep the equivalent of 12 dollars he was allocated or to give all or part of it to an anonymous other participant. They also provided their DNA samples, which were analyzed and compared to their reactions.

Greater altruism was found in participants in which a key section of AVPRI gene, called its promoter, was longer. The study would also help biologists to sort out altruism’s evolutionary history.      

The study is available online in research journal Genes, Brain and Behavior.