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It might not be as easy as a finger prick and a DIY blood test, but scientists have just discovered a gene mutation that could predict whether or not your teenager will have a tendency to binge drink. Teens with a variation of this gene might derive more pleasure from drinking than the average person, and will therefore seek out alcohol and imbibe more frequently.
Pretending that you could do a take-home test to determine if your teen carried the genetic variation that made them more inclined to booze it up, would you?
The researchers used brain scans of over 600 of teenage boys to determine their dopamine release and related propensity to drink, so it's not like this make-believe DIY test is in the works, but still. What would you do if it were available?
Not having a teen m'self, I can only speak from non-experience and say that hells yeah I'd test my teenager. It would just be a great place to start a conversation about the realities of drinking. Sure, it's all fun and games and beer pong and make-outs when you're drinking in your friend's basement, but the truth of the matter is drinking can be dangerous, especially to teens.
The more my fake kids know about his or her body, the better. I think the knowledge of the genetic variation would be a benefit -- self-awareness is never a bad thing.
Drinking can lead to risky sexual behavior, illegal and potentially deadly accidents, and a bevy of other treacherous outcomes. The more our teens know about the risk factors, as they apply to their genes and otherwise, would be, in my opinion, a boon.
What do you think?
Photo via macronix/Flickr