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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Genetic underpinnings of consumerism?

Media Life Magazine has a very interesting article about some Japanese scientists who have identified an enzyme that appears to be responsible for neophilia, which Wikipedia defines as the love of novelty and new things. This is the trait that leads us to desire new gadgets, clothes, etc. and is now on its way to being classified as a hereditary condition.

While consumerism is too new to have affected our genetics, there is lots of substantiation for the fact that we tend to develop traits that further the survival of our species. And, as the article points out, our (economic) survival is increasingly dependent upon people continuing to buy, buy and buy.

I also posted earlier on research that showed that human evolution is still in progress and changes have taken place within the last 1000 years. So it isn't actually that farfetched to assume that we will/are developing genes for consumerism.

Via Gizmodo

1 comment:

Rob Mortimer said...

How ironic that a Japanese professor would discover that!