Could Bad Driving Be Genetic?Presentation Transcript
Could Bad Driving be Genetic? Emily Siegel and James Buchsbaum
The newest excuse for bad drivers:
There may be one new reason not to have road rage these days. Researchers at the University of California Irvine have discovered a gene mutation that causes a person's difficulty with memory, and can lead to horrible driving.
How many Americans actually have this gene?
30% of Americans have this mutated gene, which explains the mass amount of bad drivers in America. The gene controls a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which affects the memory.
Did researchers figure out if this gene really affected driving?
-Researchers conducted tests:
Tests involved only 29 people, 7 with the mutation and 22 without it, (this is a good example of chance coming into play, because the study only involved 29 participants) on a driving simulator.
-Required to memorize the path of a track with challenging curves and turns.
-Drove 15 laps on the simulator, and were called to repeat the exercise 4 days later.
Results of the Tests
-Subjects with the mutated gene performed on average 20% worse than the participants without the gene
-When people with the mutated gene perform an activity, there is less brain stimulation than people without the mutation would have
-Although the researchers believe that when it comes to driving this gene is a danger to society, the gene can also be beneficial to humans later in life. Individuals with the gene have been found to maintain their "mental sharpness" longer than individuals without the mutation.
*quote from http://www.livescience.com/culture/091028-bad-driving-genes.html
Why would the knowledge about this gene benefit the people of America?
-Researchers at UC Irvine wonder how many people with the gene mutation get into car crashes each year. If this is discovered, many lives could be saved.
-If individuals with the gene knew more about it, they would be much more cautious while driving. They would recognize that they have a better chance of crashing than people without the gene mutation. This discovery is a breakthrough in seeing how to keep the roads of America safer in the future.