Stress may be determined by genetics


The New York Times reports that our ability to handle stress may be connected to a specific gene. Scientists discovered that the COMT gene determines the speed at which enzymes clear the hormone dopamine.

A specific gene may be responsible for students' ability to take tests
A specific gene may be responsible for students’ ability to take tests. (AP Photo)

Those with fast-acting dopamine clearers are the Warriors, ready for threatening environments where maximum performance is required. Those with slow-acting dopamine clearers are the Worriers, capable of more complex planning. Over the course of evolution, both Warriors and Worriers were necessary for human tribes to survive.

This discovery changes the way we look at standardized test scores. Is it fair to only value the Warriors?

To learn more about your stress gene, read the article at the New York Times.

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