Sunday, May 21, 2006

Doomed to failure by 'poverty gene'

Scottish scientists have discovered a "poverty gene" which causes people from deprived areas to age rapidly and pass on health problems to the next generation. It might even explain negative attitudes to employment.

Deprivation can lead to an overactive immune system, which quickly uses up the body's supply of spare cells needed to keep aging at bay.

Most astonishing of all, it is suspected that a hyperactive immune system floods the brain with a cocktail of chemicals which suppress the natural desire for self-advancement.

The study, by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, is the first time the full extent of the link between health, genetics and poverty has been looked at scientifically. The findings suggest that poverty is not simply the result of idleness and that more resources should be ploughed into tackling health inequality to break the cycle of deprivation.

But couldn’t linking poverty to genetic traits have the opposite effect by encouraging the view that the poor should be abandoned as a lost cause?

Read more here.


At 12:17 AM, Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

I'm going to go look at the study...but it sounds questionable...I have trouble buying a genetic link to poverty when there are so many clearly visible structural causes. This study seems like it could do way more damage than good.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger ACS said...

Did you see the recent articles on how poverty is linked both to obesity, especially in kids? That's really lame, but I think it is more about the environment then any genes.

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