Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Scientists discover the 'Homer Simpson' gene that makes mice more intelligent if it is switched off
Daily Mail [UK] ^ | 9/22/10 | staff

Posted on 09/22/2010 12:59:50 PM PDT by Nachum

Scientists have discovered a gene which makes mice more intelligent when it is not working. Nicknamed the ‘Homer Simpson gene’, after the hapless cartoon character, it operates in a part of the brain which regulates how animals learn and form new memories. The researchers from the Emory University School of Medicine say that deleting the gene in mice made them more skilled at navigating mazes and remembering objects. (Snip) John Hepler, PhD, professor of pharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine, said: "A big question this research raises is why would we, or mice, have a gene that makes us

(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: discover; homer; scientists; simpson
Mmmmmm...... donuts
1 posted on 09/22/2010 12:59:56 PM PDT by Nachum
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Mmmmmm - The Democrat Gene


2 posted on 09/22/2010 1:04:44 PM PDT by Waverunner (")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

D’OH!


3 posted on 09/22/2010 1:04:50 PM PDT by saluki_in_ohio (I support statehood for Central and Southern Illinois. Let Cook County play with itself...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
I wonder how long it will be until liberals are screaming for the government to start paying to have this turned on for free for the poor and illegal immigrants.
4 posted on 09/22/2010 1:07:17 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

“A big question this research raises is why would we, or mice, have a gene that makes us less smart

Put into a virus and injected along with the last flu vaccines.

[Wow, I actually scared myself}


5 posted on 09/22/2010 1:08:58 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

6 posted on 09/22/2010 1:09:52 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Genes are not the reason Homer is stupid. He has a crayon crammed up his nose and into his brain. When it’s removed he is very intelligent.


7 posted on 09/22/2010 1:10:14 PM PDT by Hacklehead (Note to Leftists- We Will Bury You (politically)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
I thought I heard somebody talking about me.

Guess not.

8 posted on 09/22/2010 1:11:06 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson ("Every nation has the government that it deserves." - Joseph de Maistre (1753-1821))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA

what is the reproductive advantage to being stupid?

keep making babies despite the lack of family resources to raise them?

induce mating with ugly people? (beer goggle gene?)


9 posted on 09/22/2010 1:12:06 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: SandRat; All

10 posted on 09/22/2010 1:15:29 PM PDT by paterfamilias
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Slings and Arrows

Dumb not-a-ping to you.


11 posted on 09/22/2010 1:17:40 PM PDT by FreedomOfExpression
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
Better at memorizing a maze is NOT “more intelligent”, it is “better memory”.

As to why we (and mice) would have a gene that makes it easier to forget, perhaps they should consider that while being locked into the memory of a maze may be advantageous to a lab raised maze walking mouse - it could be absolute MURDER for a wild mouse that has to adapt to changing circumstances and cannot be a slave to its memory.

Imagine if you never forgot anything! I asked out a gal once, and she turned me down.... never do THAT again!

12 posted on 09/22/2010 1:19:08 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

I always thought it was the lack of a gene but it makes sense because you can’t be that stupid from nothing.


13 posted on 09/22/2010 1:21:51 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (If Obama was the answer---that must have been one stupid question!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

14 posted on 09/22/2010 1:22:12 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: paterfamilias

15 posted on 09/22/2010 1:23:39 PM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: longtermmemmory
What is the reproductive advantage to being stupid?

FREE HEALTH CARE FREE FOOD STAMPS FREE HOUSING FREE LOADING...............

16 posted on 09/22/2010 1:25:26 PM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Hacklehead

“Shut up, brain, or I’ll stab you with a Q-Tip!”

“How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain - remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?”

“I hope I didn’t brain my damage!”

“I am so smart, I am so smart, S M R T, I mean S M A R T.”


17 posted on 09/22/2010 1:27:47 PM PDT by dfwgator (Rangers Magic Number - 6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

“Simpson gene? That’s just foolishness!”


18 posted on 09/22/2010 1:29:52 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Pardon him...he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe ... are the laws of nature)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Waverunner

19 posted on 09/22/2010 1:30:37 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

20 posted on 09/22/2010 1:31:15 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin


Marge approves ...
21 posted on 09/22/2010 1:32:11 PM PDT by Scythian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin


Marge approves ...
22 posted on 09/22/2010 1:32:21 PM PDT by Scythian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator
"What...me lose brain? Why I laugh?"

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

23 posted on 09/22/2010 1:33:28 PM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: TexasFreeper2009
I wonder how long it will be until liberals are screaming for the government to start paying to have this turned on for free for the poor and illegal immigrants.

Never.

They want democrat/liberal voters

24 posted on 09/22/2010 1:37:10 PM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 610 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

That...is...awesome!


25 posted on 09/22/2010 1:37:42 PM PDT by therightliveswithus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmendream

You’re right. The brain needs to dump useless stuff...


26 posted on 09/22/2010 1:39:25 PM PDT by GOPJ (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2589165/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

I thought it was the removal of a crayon lodged in his brain that caused his upswing in intelligence.


27 posted on 09/22/2010 1:42:11 PM PDT by SengirV
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

“All right Brain, you don’t like me, and I don’t like you. But let’s just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer.”


28 posted on 09/22/2010 1:43:34 PM PDT by Oratam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nachum
Gee, thanks for nothing. Next thing is for these Homer-less gene mice to populate, get into my house and outsmart my mousetraps.
D'oh!
29 posted on 09/22/2010 1:47:14 PM PDT by phredo53 (Caution: This post does not comply with White House standards.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ
Not just that, but also to not get TOO fixated upon what happened before. Past performance is no guarantee of future events. The hallway where you got scared once may be the way to lots of food and sweet female mice, but you would never know if that one fright convinced you to NEVER go that way again!

I think it is something like creativity -vs- autism. Most people are not flaky crazy creative, and neither are they rigidly autistic - they are somewhere in the middle.

Now a gene variation that makes you more mathematically inclined and intellectually rigorous may also make you more prone to autism, while loosening up that rigidity can lead to more free wheeling creativity, but can also lead to craziness of a different sort.

If this gene was evolutionarily conserved from the time when mice and men shared a common ancestor, it is obviously doing something worthwhile.

My father, an engineer, said “When all you have is a hammer, problems look like nails.”

I suppose to a guy who runs mice through mazes, a mouse who can memorize a maze better seems “smarter”.

But there is a lot more to it than THAT!

I would like to see how these knockout mice (mice without the gene that helps them to forget, memory mice lets call them) would survive and/or interact in a situation that more closely replicates the wild.

I would bet that they perform quite a bit less well in “life”, than in the maze.

30 posted on 09/22/2010 1:48:59 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

It seems likely that this gene helps to prevent some form of disability. The strain of lab mice used in this experiment may lack the potential for the disability, but later research on wild type mice will probably uncover it.


31 posted on 09/22/2010 1:51:02 PM PDT by Rockingham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmendream

“As to why we (and mice) would have a gene that makes it easier to forget, perhaps they should consider that while being locked into the memory of a maze may be advantageous to a lab raised maze walking mouse - it could be absolute MURDER for a wild mouse that has to adapt to changing circumstances and cannot be a slave to its memory.”

It’s hard to imagine that a better memory would not be an advantage for survival. Remembering not to eat certain things that made you sick or not doing to certain things that almost got you killed would be helpful. There must be other things the gene effects that on balance make it better to have in the wild.


32 posted on 09/22/2010 1:51:33 PM PDT by Hacklehead (Note to Leftists- We Will Bury You (politically)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Hacklehead
Well memory is one thing, and mice with this gene do just fine (for a mouse) at memorizing a maze.

The trick is to remember that a food made you sick, or that a place is dangerous, but not be so locked into the memory that you forgo advantageous behaviors because of an unfortunate memory.

Obviously there is a balance achieved in the wild between being able to remember, but not being a slave to the memory. You knock out this gene and the balance is thrown off, and you have a mouse that is MUCH better at memorizing a maze - but is it as adaptable to new circumstance, is it as ‘creative’ at problem solving - or is it locked completely into what worked or what didn't work previously?

So I guess what I am saying is that a mouse remembers good enough to do his mousy thing, a mouse isn't (in the wild) a maze walker, he is a mouse.

If a population of mice needed to remember things better or more viscerally or whatever - and this gene didn't have other features of antagonistic pleotropy (for any good thing it does it probably does bad stuff also)- then the natural tendency would be for this gene to be downregulated or rendered non-functional through selection of genetic variation.

33 posted on 09/22/2010 2:02:24 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: null and void
lol

funny, but seriously. Imagine if people could pay $50,000 or so to have this turned off and increase their intelligence...

I can hear the democrats screaming about the growing intelligence gap, and how unfair it is that only the rich can afford this treatment, the very people who need it the least, and how governments starting probably with California should pay for this for the poor and lower middle class.

34 posted on 09/22/2010 2:19:46 PM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: FreedomOfExpression

IOW, they found the Democrat gene.


35 posted on 09/22/2010 3:15:06 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (You can't have IngSoc without an Emmanuel Goldstein.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: allmendream

I am the flaky, creative, messy type. My friend is the organized, ridged, dependable type.

Just last week, we had a conversation on the advantages of both. I told her, “If everyone was like me, nobody would ever make an appointment. Everyone’s place would be a mess. No repetitive jobs would be done. The world would fall apart.

“However, if everyone were like *you*, people would overreact when messy life situations happened. Ridged, organized people don’t react so well when a kid is sick or when their schedule is thrown off. We help you guys cope with the messiness of life.

“The world needs both and it needs a few who actually manage to be well balanced and in the middle. We keep each other sane.”


36 posted on 09/22/2010 8:41:54 PM PDT by Marie (Obama seems to think that Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since Camp David, not King David)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Nachum

Shouldn’t they have called it the “Pinky” gene instead?


37 posted on 09/22/2010 8:44:05 PM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?)...Richard Frank DeCamp, 11/13/34-9/15/10, R.I.P.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Marie
I am a mix, but I read about genetic traits all the time and think “oh, so maybe THAT is why things are like that!”

For example, common variation of repeat number in the gene for the dopamine receptor. Those with a high number of repeats are not as sensitive to dopamine (the brains “good boy!” chemical), they tend to be the thrill seeker type, that is always pushing the envelope, that has to do everything better and faster next time to get the same thrill.

I thought, “I must have the shortest number of repeats within common human variation”. I ate the same jalapeno with cream cheese and lox bagel for breakfast for a year, and damned if I didn't enjoy it the three hundredth day just as much as the first!

38 posted on 09/22/2010 8:51:19 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson