How much of personality is genetic?

Question of the Week, 1.11.2010

Aspects of personality are influenced by genes; environment modifies the genetic effects. The relative contributions remain under debate.

For example, the human genome exists in every one of us, and is an undoubted fact of nature. But do you know that “20 percent of the genome is now privately owned. The gene for diabetes is owned, and its owner has something to say about any research you do, and what it will cost you. The entire genome of the hepatitis C virus is owned by a biotech company.” (http://www.crichton-official.com/essay-nytimes-thisessaybreaksthelaw.html). Should you pay or ask for permission, if you want to study, diagnose or cure those diseases?

Another point. Recently genes for gayness, violence, sleep, alcoholism and some others have been reported. If they will be proved. Will people do the test for them before planning relationships or family? Probably the most interesting sci-fiction book about those issues is novel “NEXT” by Michael Crichton. This was the last book of this brilliant writer. Who has died in November 2008 so lets dedicate this Question of the week to him.

Yuriy Khalavka