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More on Synesthesia

>> Saturday, February 7, 2009

If you don't recall, a while ago I did a post on people who see color for words, smell days of the week, etc. This "condition" (another word I hate because it doesn't seem that serious to me) is called synesthesia and it appears that scientists are closer to figuring out what exactly causes it. It is known to run in families but the genetics behind it aren't understood.

Recently, scientists think they have found the genes linked to this. Why am I posting such a little blurb?

I suppose this goes back to earlier posts I have done about genetics. Mostly they were about tampering with bacteria and making beer good for you. One post was a Debate! about designer babies.

Fig 1. There is nothing wrong with having different genes than everything around you. You just stand out a bit more.

I have a hard time with certain genetic ventures. I am not a big fan of certain types of bioengineering. Some of the stuff is ok. I can deal with more nutritious rice. Designer babies and finding a "cure" for something that isn't really debilitating (like synesthesia) bothers me. I say this because as someone who is dubbed as having a "disorder," I honestly used to have days where I had dreams of nothing more than never having another mood swing again.

I have longed for the days when there would be a magic pill to fix me so that I could finish school— without kidney or liver problems. However, the more soul-searching I do, the more I realize that without my condition/disorder/whatever I would not be the nutty, artistic, music playing, science geek that I am today. Yes, at times I consider my disorder debilitating and in those instances I turn to drugs (prescribed of course)— but do I want it to go away? Would I have the same sense of adventure? Same need to explore? Same insatiable curiosity? Same passion? Probably not! Would I feel guilty about passing on this genetic trait to a child? ABSOLUTELY, but that is my call to make, not anyone else's.
Fig 2. Rawr! I needed to vent

I didn't mean to turn this into a rant, but sometimes I think that while the science is good, the wording and reasoning why is flawed. I know that studying the genetics behind this will give us better insight to how we function as the amazing machine we are and this will lead to insight on other things that may not have otherwise even been discovered... I just don't want to alter my genes to fit in.


wendy February 7, 2009 at 10:05 PM  

Right on!s If you read my post on my blog(wherefaeriesplay.blogspot.com) you will understand.s In my day (I'm 57) we HAD to fit in.s I felt uncomfortable back then and still do.
I agree with you - please, don't alter my genes so we can all be alike!s What a boring world it would be.
BTW - I like your new blog.s

Mimi February 8, 2009 at 7:53 PM  

I concur. How boring it would be indeed. I really like your other blog. I think it's neat that science is progressing, but NOT at the sake of my individuality!

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