Half Empty or Half Full

Written by Science Knowledge on 4:40 PM

People are typically biased toward noticing either good or bad events, and a common genetic variation may underlie such tendencies for optimism or pessimism. Scientists at the University of Essex in England investigated serotonin, a neurotransmitter linked with mood, and explored how 97 volunteers preferred different kinds of images. People who carried only long versions of the gene for the serotonin transporter protein—which controls levels of the neurotransmitter in brain cells—tended to pay attention to pleasant pictures (such as images of chocolate) while avoiding negative ones (such as photographs of spiders). Those with a shorter form showed opposite preferences, though not as strongly. The findings, in the February 25 Proceedings of the Royal Society B, help to explain why people may be less prone to anxiety and depression and could lead to therapies that help some look on the bright side. —Charles Q. Choi

Source of Information : Scientific American(2009-05)

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In its broadest sense, science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") refers to any systematic knowledge or practice. In its more usual restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge gained through such research.

Fields of science are commonly classified along two major lines: natural sciences, which study natural phenomena (including biological life), and social sciences, which study human behavior and societies. These groupings are empirical sciences, which means the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and capable of being experimented for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions.

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