By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
Mon Jul 14, 2:16 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three genes may play a strong role in determining why some young men raised in rough neighborhoods or deprived families become violent criminals, while others do not, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.One gene called MAOA that played an especially strong role has been shown in other studies to affect antisocial behavior -- and it was disturbingly common, the team at the University of North Carolina reported.
People with a particular variation of the MAOA gene called 2R were very prone to criminal and delinquent behavior, said sociology professor Guang Guo, who led the study.
"I don't want to say it is a crime gene, but 1 percent of people have it and scored very high in violence and delinquency," Guo said in a telephone interview.