Bernd Wahlbrinck

Genetic effects
on child behaviour



   July 27, 1998.  Two scientists at the University of Berkeley, California, have now discovered a gene that induces children to balance on low walls, especially stone walls. When asked how long it had taken them to find the curious gene, Dr. Carl Luce replied, "Er... to tell you the truth, we hadn't been looking for this gene at all. Actually, since 1951 Gene and I  - " (he is referring to Dr. Eugene Axe here)  "had been looking for this other gene that is supposedly responsible for the fact that most of the time toddlers put the left boot on the right foot, and vice versa. And we were just fiddling around there when all of a sudden we bumped into this wall gene."

   According to Dr. Luce, their future research will focus on other aspects of genetically controlled child behaviour. "There is an obvious tendency in small children to put the plate they are eating from as far away as possible from the edge of the table, thus ensuring that an incredible amount of food substances falls or rather spills onto the table when they try to move the fork or spoon towards their mouths. Ironically, there is a reverse tendency - evidently also genetically controlled - that makes kids put a glass so close to the edge of the table that more often than not it will inadvertently be pushed over the edge. Now, I have a hunch that these 2 genes are somehow interlocked with each other. Therefore, if we find them we should be able to exchange the relevant chromosomes - I am talking in layman's terms here - and zingo! the problem of spilled food and broken glasses would be solved."

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