Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Scientists Measure Mouse Personality and Map Traits to Their Genetics

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Mice were found to have personalities and there is now a way to measure them. Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich developed a method to observe and measure the personalities of mice. In order to observe the personality traits of these mice, their behaviors were first observed, then a computational algorithm to extract personality traits from the behavioral data was conducted. When the scientists gave the mice personality traits, it was found that these mice did indeed have their own unique personalities that guided their behavior. Gene expressions of these mice were also mapped in the mice’s brains and the scientists found that they could identify specific genes associated with certain personality traits. Thus, showing that both genes and epigenetics contribute to personality formation.
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I think that this study is really important because it finally links genetics to personality traits. With this study, it is potentially possible to diagnose and treat psychiatric problems when there is something wrong with the genes that are linked to these problems. Furthermore, it now allows people to study how personality can be affected by genes, drugs, and aging, and how it can contribute to mental health. This way, more appropriate or better treatments could possibly be found for mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders.

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