Impulsivity and Addiction Genetically Linked

Impulsive and addictive behaviors are genetically linked in men, but not in women, says a new study from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The gene in question is called NRXN3.

What's the Latest Development?


A new study from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, suggests impulsive behavior is genetically linked with addiction. A small segment of DNA—the gene NRXN3—has already been linked to drug addiction and obesity and now scientists think impulsive behavior lies beneath individuals' inability to control their own actions. According to the research, "In men, but not women, having a certain variant of NRXN3 increased the risk of problems with alcohol by 2.5 times."

What's the Big Idea?

The connection between single genes and behavior is not straightforward and having, or not having, a particular gene in no way determines one's behavior. "You almost can't paint a complicated enough picture of how genes are associated with behaviors," said study researcher Scott Stoltenberg, a psychologist at the University of Nebraska. "There are a lot of factors out there that influence our behaviors, and genes are just one of them."

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less