Scientists may have found gene behind hyper-sociability

[H]umans are social beings, an evolutionary trait that helped separate us from other primates millions of years ago…These genetic underpinnings of human sociability, however, have remained a mystery. But in a study appearing [August 10,]…researchers report they have narrowed in on some of the genes responsible for social behavior by studying people who have Williams syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that makes them hyper-sociable.

In the new study, [Alysson] Muortri…[harvested] cells from the lost teeth of children with this disorder. Using…pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming, the researchers turned the tooth cells into nerve cells…They quickly noticed how different these neurons were compared to those from people without Williams syndrome.

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The researchers wrote that their “brain-in-a-dish” cellular model of Williams syndrome could also be used to help better understand a variety of brain disorders…The genes deleted in people with Williams syndrome…appear to keep sociability from being too excessive.

[T]he researchers postulated that the gene named FZD9, missing in most people with Williams syndrome, helps to regulate cell death and neural branching.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists Home in on the Human ‘Sociability’ Gene

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