In 2010, scientists set out to find out what genes had allowed Ozzy Osbourne to live through decades of heavy drug and alcohol abuse, and the results were astounding.
Scientists at Knome Inc. discovered a never-seen-before mutation which could explain his uncanny ability to consume alcohol in such huge quantities, proving he truly is a genetic mutant.
Bill Sullivan revealed the discovery, which also found several genetic variations which predisposed him to drug and alcohol dependencies, in his new book Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are, which is out this year (2019).
In the book, which is released by National Geographic this month, Sullivan looks at the surprising ways in which our DNA and biological factors shape who we are, the New York Post reports.
He said of legendary Black Sabbath singer Osbourne:
Ozzy is indeed a genetic mutant.
Apparently, there’s a gene which gives us a sweet tooth (or not), as well as multiple genes which decide our enjoyment of coffee and govern our emotions, sexual attraction and political persuasion.
The Indiana University of School of Medicine professor writes:
After all these years of thinking we were free agents, we’ve come to realise that most, if not all, of our behavior is not of our own volition.
According to the book, people who are more liberal in their political agenda are more likely to possess a variant of a certain gene, and scientists even believe they can predict someone’s political affiliation with 72 per cent accuracy, just by looking at a brain scan.
Amygdala is the part of the brain which is activated in fearful situations – this is said to be bigger in Conservatives’ brains – while liberals tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortex, the area which involves analysing intrinsic thoughts.
Sullivan says when it comes to everyday emotions, our genes programme the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine which cause us to feel certain ways.
He wrote: ‘However magical they may feel to you, your emotions are purely biological in origin.’
Scandinavian people are often cited as being the happiest people on earth, but these scientific claims could mean it’s as much about their genes as their lifestyle.
A researcher from Bristol University looked at the DNA of people from 30 different countries and found that Danish and Dutch people had the fewest instances of carrying a serotonin receptor gene which has been linked with depression.
This is a lesson to anyone who ever tries to make us feel bad about how we feel – it’s in the genes.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.