SocraticGadfly: Single gene-depression link refuted

June 17, 2009

Single gene-depression link refuted

The original 2003 study claiming a single gene had a lot of responsibility for depression has been iffy for some time, now, but further research says it definitely doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

On the “popular front” level, what does this mean?

Well, several popular Americanisms (some of them not just pop-level but held by a certain segment of scientists) get the kibosh.

1. A hypermechanistic, technological view of medicine, with quick fixes either here today or just around the corner.
2. Something that’s already been on the ropes over other issues, the one-gene, one-behavior theory, gets another good, swift kick. (That’s at the scientific as well as pop level.)
3. A simplistic view of life in general held by most Americans hand in hand with American exceptionalism. There are no easy solutions to most mental health issues, and, perhaps that’s why, in the U.S., depression is on the rise.

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