Scientists Find 'Happiness Gene'

But they warn: Don't blame everything on biology
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2011 1:46 PM CDT
Happiness may be, in part, in your genes.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – If you’re generally less than jubilant—or unfailingly cheerful—your biological makeup may play a role. Scientists have tracked down a gene whose variants appear to be linked to happiness, the Guardian reports. In a study of 2,500 Americans, those who had two long variants of the gene more often said they were “very satisfied” with life than those with two short versions.

“This gives us more insight into the biological mechanisms that influence life satisfaction,” says a researcher. “If you're feeling down, you can say it's your biology telling you life is less rosy than it is.” But if you happen to have the short variants, don’t think you’re doomed. You can’t say the gene “causes happiness. Happiness is hugely complex and your experiences throughout the course of your life will remain the dominant force on that,” he adds.

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