Gene alert: Now we know what actually makes us happy | health and fitness | Hindustan Times
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Gene alert: Now we know what actually makes us happy

Parts of the human genome detailing the differences in how humans experience happiness have recently been isolated by researchers.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 27, 2016 21:03 IST
The genetic variants for happiness are mainly expressed in the central nervous system and the adrenal glands and pancreatic system.
The genetic variants for happiness are mainly expressed in the central nervous system and the adrenal glands and pancreatic system. (Shutterstock)

Parts of the human genome detailing the differences in how humans experience happiness have recently been isolated by researchers.

These findings of an international study conducted over 2,98,000 people, was led by VU Amsterdam professors Meike Bartels and Philipp Koellinger.

The researchers found three genetic variants for happiness, two variants that can account for differences in symptoms of depression and eleven locations on the human genome that could account for varying degrees of neuroticism.

Read: India ranked 118th in UN’s world happiness index; behind Pak, China

The genetic variants for happiness are mainly expressed in the central nervous system and the adrenal glands and pancreatic system.

Prior twin and family research using information from the Netherlands Twin Register and other sources has shown that individual differences in happiness and well-being can be partially ascribed to genetic differences between people.

Happiness and well-being are the topics of an increasing number of scientific studies in a variety of academic disciplines. Policy makers are increasingly focusing on well-being, drawing primarily on the growing body of evidence suggesting that well-being is a factor in mental and physical health.

Read: Money can’t buy happiness? You may want to think again, and read on

These findings, which resulted from a collaborative project with the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium, are available for follow-up research.

The study appears in the journal Nature Genetics.

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