Murderers May Be Hardwired to Kill

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Murderers May Be Hardwired to Kill Empty Murderers May Be Hardwired to Kill

Post by Guest on Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:00 pm

Serial killers and other people who repeatedly commit violent crimes, such as assault and battery, may be hardwired to hurt others, suggests a new study that identifies two genetic variants tied to extreme violent behavior.
The findings, published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Psychiatry, could help to explain why the majority of violent crimes are committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat offenders. The extensive study represents the first effort to investigate the genetic background of people exhibiting such repetitive, brutal behavior.
"I think that we have found two genes that have the largest effect in aggressive behavior, and that there are probably tens or hundreds of other genes having smaller effects," lead author Jari Tiihonen told Discovery News.

http://news.discovery.com/human/genetics/murderers-may-be-hardwired-to-kill-141028.htm

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Post by Guest on Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:43 pm

Is being born that way soley the fact that someone kills?

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Post by Guest on Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:54 pm

Fuzzy Zack wrote:
Brasidas wrote:Is being born that way soley the fact that someone kills?

So you're saying there is an element of choice also. I agree.

Yes as well as other possible factors.

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Post by Original Quill on Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:08 pm

Goes back to the Italian theory that criminality is genetic.

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Post by Cass on Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:13 pm

interesting. I read something once a while back about part of the frontal lobe being messed up is seen in a high proportion of serial killers.

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Post by Tommy Monk on Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:58 pm

Think it was psychopaths who shared a similar brain structure, but although many serial killers were psychopaths, majority of psychopaths don't end up being serial killers.




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Post by Ben Reilly on Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:47 pm

Reminds me of the research of Jim Fallon that I've talked about before -- basically he theorizes a genetic/environmental cocktail that predisposes people toward murder:

Along with brain scans, Fallon also tested each family member's DNA for genes that are associated with violence. He looked at 12 genes related to aggression and violence and zeroed in on the MAO-A gene (monoamine oxidase A). This gene, which has been the target of considerable research, is also known as the "warrior gene" because it regulates serotonin in the brain. Serotonin affects your mood — think Prozac — and many scientists believe that if you have a certain version of the warrior gene, your brain won't respond to the calming effects of serotonin.

Fallon calls up another slide on his computer. It has a list of family members' names, and next to them, the results of the genotyping. Everyone in his family has the low-aggression variant of the MAO-A gene, except for one person.

"You see that? I'm 100 percent. I have the pattern, the risky pattern," he says, then pauses. "In a sense, I'm a born killer."

Fallon's being tongue-in-cheek — sort of. He doesn't believe his fate or anyone else's is entirely determined by genes. They merely tip you in one direction or another.

And yet: "When I put the two together, it was frankly a little disturbing," Fallon says with a laugh. "You start to look at yourself and you say, 'I may be a sociopath.' I don't think I am, but this looks exactly like [the brains of] the psychopaths, the sociopaths, that I've seen before."

I asked his wife, Diane, what she thought of the result.

"I wasn't too concerned," she says, laughing. "I mean, I've known him since I was 12."

Diane probably does not need to worry, according to scientists who study this area. They believe that brain patterns and genetic makeup are not enough to make anyone a psychopath. You need a third ingredient: abuse or violence in one's childhood.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127888976

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