facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Researchers detect 'altruism gene'

Nov. 9, 2010 at 2:05 AM   |   Comments

BONN, Germany, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A mutation of a single gene is associated with an increased willingness to donate money, researchers in Germany say.

Dr. Martin Reuter of the University of Bonn and colleagues had 100 students memorize series of numbers and then repeat them as correctly as possible. Those who completed the task received about $7.

The study participants could either take their hard-earned money home or donate any portion of it to a charitable cause anonymously into a box already containing cash.

"However, we always knew how much money was in the cash box beforehand and could therefore calculate the amount donated," Reuter says in a statement.

The researcher also took a swab test and checked the DNA for two different variants of the COMT gene: COMT-Val and COMT-Met, which occur in people in approximately equal frequency.

The study, published in the journal Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, found people with the COMT-Val variant, the associated enzyme works up to four times more effectively.

"Students with the COMT-Val gene donated twice as much money on average as did fellow students with the COMT-Met variant," Reuter says.

© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Protein found in breast milk may protect infants from a certain disease
2
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
3
CDC: Get your flu vaccine CDC: Get your flu vaccine
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
New industry-baked marijuana PSAs advise moderation New industry-baked marijuana PSAs advise moderation
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback