“Generosity May Be Genetically Programmed, Israeli Study Says” by Alisa Odenheimer: “Philanthropists may be genetically programmed to donate to charities, while misers may be wired to hold on to their wealth, Israeli researchers say…”
“The study looked at 102 men and 101 women, and took DNA samples to see who had a gene that had been linked to social bonding in animals. They then played an online game that involved making a choice whether to give away money or horde it. Those who were more generous in the game had the gene, called AVPR1a.
“The experiment provided the first evidence, to my knowledge, for a relationship between DNA variability and real human altruism,’ said Ariel Knafo, a researcher at Hebrew University’s Psychology Department in Jerusalem, who helped lead the study.
Those who had the AVPR1a gene gave away on average nearly 50
percent more money than those without it. The research, published
online in the research journal “Genes, Brain and Behavior,” may
help biologists discover why humans developed the trait, the
scientists said today in an e-mailed statement. Voles, a type of
mammal, have the same gene, which has been tied to social bonding
in earlier experiments.”
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