Cover of January, 1915 National Geographic Mag...

Cover of January, 1915 National Geographic Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I bought the 125th Anniversary issue of National Geographic.  It has an article called Restless Genes.  They are talking about the gene DRD4.  It is dopamine.  There are negative signs for the gene.  I am going to narrow this essay to exploration.

Parts of this are known as the “Novelty Seeking Gene.”  You are exploratory and can be impulsive.    Probably a good thing for explorers.  There is also the idea of “Openness to Experience.”  It’s interesting in explaining moving across the world.

The National Geographic article began with discussing Captain Cook and the Polynesian Tupaia, he took on his ship.  Tupaia could navigate just by the stars.  Cook had to have the tools, such as his sextant, compass, and charts.  Tupaia had all this in his head.  The 7R version of the gene would have been chosen for nomads, for example.  Studies have been done of the Ariaal ethnic group in Kenya (Related to the Samburu and Rendille in Northern Kenya).  The Ariaal who still lived the nomadic lifestyle were better fed than those living as settled villagers.

It makes you wonder what will happen with people with such genes and what will they explore next.

Another example was a group of pioneers from Quebec City who went North to the Saguenay Valley.  The article explained how they would have leveraged their most restless genes by creating a sub culture that placed premiums on curiosity, toughness and risk taking as well as the physical skills with tools.

Interesting look at how self selection in people may work for certain situations.



About tucsonmike

I am originally from Brooklyn, New York and now live in Tucson, Arizona. I have discovered a passion for writing. I have five books out now, with a sixth on the way. Take a look @ my book list: The Search for Livingstone An Affair of the Heart The Search for Otzi Griffith Justice in Space. Moriarty The Life and Times of a Criminal Genius Available now on Smashwords - Amazon and Barnes and Noble As to not bore my public with just "Buy my book," I am also interested in baseball, the outdoors, art, architecture, technology, the human mind and DNA. I learned Ashkenazi Jews, of which I am one, have to lowest rate of Alzheimer's in the world. Therefore, I treat my brain as a muscle needing a workout. I enjoy good food, flirtation, beautiful women (I am happily married for thirty years), so just flirting ;) I was considered autistic when I was young, trying to figure out if I have a mild form of Aspergers and learning from that. That is for future posts. You can also see I love history. Enjoy my sarcastic silly look at the world, and making History more interesting than a textbook.
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