DRD4-7R - “Wanderlust Gene”

News Excerpt:

Researchers have found a genetic variation called DRD4-7R, which occurs in about 20% of the human population.

About the gene:

  • Unforced migration is often motivated by curiosity and boredom, generally called “Wanderlust”.
  • This is credited to a variation in the human DNA (DRD4-7R), now dubbed the “wanderlust gene”.
  • DRD4-7R refers to the 7-repeat (7R) allele of the Dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4) gene.
  • Genes and alleles, two fundamental concepts in genetics, differ in their roles. Genes are DNA sections that code for specific proteins, playing a crucial part in biological functions. Alleles are variations of these genes, leading to diverse traits such as eye colour.
  • It impacts dopamine levels, increasing the person’s tolerance for risk-taking, including exploring new territories.
  • Extensive studies into the gene have shown that when people’s lifestyles were compared, it was clear that the holders of the mutant form of the DRD4 gene, 7R, tended to travel more.