Scientists discover genes linked to happiness, depression

Zee Media Bureau

Apart from determining the color of eye lens, sense of humor or athletic skills, genes now can be an important determinant of one's outlook of life, according to a latest study.

An international team, consisting of more than 140 researchers from 17 countries of the world, studied the genomic data of nearly 3,00,000 people.

What they found is that genes are closely linked with one's feeling of happiness, depression and neuroticism.

The study, published in journals Nature Genetics, is one of the largest studies of genes involved in human behavior.

For this successful genetic research, scientists made use of advanced statistical analysis or meta-analysed results across the large number of studies.

The research pinpointed three genetic variants associated with subjective well- being, two associated with depressive symptoms, and 11 associated with neuroticism.

However, scientists have clarified that the genetic variants do not determine whether someone develops depressive symptoms, neuroticism or has a poor sense of wellbeing.

The study also highlights that genetics is only one factor that influence these psychological traits. The environment is at least as important, and it interacts with the genetic effects.

The information in this report allows researchers to look at possible ways to study these conditions.

(With agencies input)