Podcast: Is the ‘bliss gene’ real?

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Image: Leslie Becker/Boston Globe

In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” Because Mike experiences less anxiety than most, he has often wondered if he has higher levels of anandamide—a neurotransmitter associated with regulating anxiety and stress—caused by a specific genetic variation. Maria walks him through the complicated biology, the research, and explains why even if it might be real, Mike’s self-diagnosis is unreliable.

Is there a “bliss gene”? Not exactly, she said, while pointing out that studies have shown links between a lower stress reaction and the presence of two copies of the mutation. Human genetics, however, is more complicated than that, Konnikova said:

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“It’s not like this thing is suddenly a cure-all if you have it.”

Read full, original post: Decoding the Bliss Gene

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