Today, we can confidently state that scientists have finally discovered the so-called “wanderlust gene” – DRD4. This gene has many different variations. The most “explosive” 7R allele of the DRD4 gene was discovered in 1999 by geneticists at the University of California. They discovered that the cells of human brain produce special “dopamine D4 receptor” protein related to the feeling of “joy”. DRD4 gene is responsible precisely for this protein. This gene is mostly found in the 4R form. People with this combination love to embark on shady enterprises, seek adventure and discover new things. However, they also have a well-developed instinct for self-preservation and it is not their nature to risk their lives.
Yet there are 20% of people with 7R variation. These “wanderlusters” can’t sit still – they are ready for everything for the sake of vivid impressions and often fall in love with extreme sports. Over the years of research, scientists have found that 7R is most often found in people whose ancestors migrated from their historic homeland in search of a better lot.
Where does it come from and what kind of people is more prone to wanderlust
Scientists could find out that the so-called “wanderlust gene” is much more common for nomadic peoples rather than for those who lived on the same land for a long time. In addition, the gene is more likely to be found in people whose ancestors were engaged in hunting and livestock rather than in people coming from farmers’roots.
The most prominent representatives of the 7R allele owners are the Irish and the American Indians who are famous for their impulsiveness. Peoples of East Asia have the least chances of having the gene. Historians believe that this is due to the fact that Asia has rich traditions in establishing powerful centralized states which often suppressed the will of the people using military force.
Apparently, the “wanderlust gene” was born in the period of massive migration of human population from Africa to Eurasia, and later to America. The history of this gene clearly shows how human behavioral traits form stable genetic characteristics. Needless to say that we should be grateful to this gene as it has been pushing humans for new discoveries for centuries!
How to live with a“wanderlust gene”
It is worth to mention that after the discovery of this gene, scientists carried out several researches and even introduced special “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” which is currently often found in children. All of these researches showed that the presence “wanderlust gene” (or “thirst for novelty”gene as they usually call it) can lead to very different consequences in different people. Yet, upbringing and social circle still have the biggest impact on kids. An energetic and enthusiastic kid can become an athlete, a scientist or a traveler. Having the same set of genes, the kid can also become a fraudster or a criminal. Genetics gives us room for future development so we advise the owners of the “wanderlust gene” to direct their energy in a peaceful and positive direction so that genetics could become a good help for nice accomplishments!