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The Credit Score Gene?

A story in the most recent issue of Scientific American Mind discusses the work of Jan-Emmanuel de Neve and James Fowler, who suggested in 2009 that "the MAOA gene predicts credit card debt." In their paperposted to the Social Science Research Network — de Neve, of the London School of Economics, and Fowler, of the University of California, San Diego, "present the first evidence" that individuals with a polymorphism of the MAOA gene show a decreased transcriptional efficiency, and are "significantly more likely to report having credit card debt," they write. Specifically, they found that "having one or both MAOA alleles of the low efficiency type raised the average likelihood of having credit card debt by 7.8 percent and 15.9 percent, respectively," the team found, using data from 2,000 young adults as part of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. According to Scientific American Mind, "the gene affects credit-care debt the way other genes have been found to play a role in breast cancer." In their paper, the authors suggest that a combination of their genetic analyses, along with an examination of an individual's socio-economic environment, could "fine-tune existing model of financial and other economic decisions," though they warn that the potential consequences "of possible discrimination by lenders on the basis of genotype" ought to be considered.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.