amazonscaredmummy.jpgSocial scientists suggest that fear of new experiences and viewpoints is what stunts cognitive development and leads to Republicans. Perhaps a little pharmaceutical intervention could help?

Gene turn-off makes meek mice fearless

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

Deactivating the gene that codes for the protein stathmin transforms meek mice into daredevils, researchers have found. The team believe the research might one day enable people suffering from phobias or anxiety disorders to be clinically treated.

The protein is known to destabilise microtubule structures that help maintain the connections between neurons. This allows the neurons to make new connections, allowing the animal to learn and process fear experiences, Shumyatsky says. Without it, the neural responses are stilted.