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'The shortest Russian street is in Novosibirsk, Western Siberia: 40 metres long, its only got three buildings'

Experimental genetic testing of Siberia’s teenagers to detect and correct deviant behaviour

By 0 and 0 and 0
15 February 2021


Should the pilot version of experiment be successful, the team is hoping to spread it wider to children of all ages, and to various social groups. Picture: The Siberian Times

Six local schools are taking part in a first of its kind project in Russia by Novosibirsk city’s department of education, the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, and VedaGenetics company.

The experimental research studies genes influencing levels of aggression, creativity and intellect in students aged from 11 to 17 years old. 

Participation is voluntary. Families pay 1800 roubles - 600 roubles for each gene - ($24.56 - $8.18) for genetic tests based on a mouth swab.

Generic results go back to schools where teachers combine them with earlier psychological tests, and decide if a child’s behaviour needs to be corrected to ‘re-channel energy into more peaceful direction’ with help of extra-curricular activities and psychologists. 

‘According to scientists, pupils with a prominent gene of aggression will likely be successful in sport. 

‘Should they be late into active physical activity, they might turn into hooligans, trouble-makers and even criminals’, reported the Novosibirsk edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

psychogenetics Russia
School number 170 in Novosibirsk. Picture: Zapolyarnaya Pravda

Sampling has started in two Novosibirsk schools, with secondary school number 170 being the most active participant. 

‘We are keen on this project from the scientific, not commercial, point of view. Specialists of the Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine will be studying pupils’ genes, with our scientific consultant Professor Vladimir Maksimov deciphering the  results’, said the head of the project, Yevgeny Yakimchuk, of  VedaGenetika company. 

One of the studied genes is responsible for release of serotonin and influences creativity. 

The dopamine receptor gene and its combinations affects hyperactivity and a tendency to manic-depressive syndrome; its carriers are prone to choosing extreme professions and can be successful athletes or servicemen. 

The third gene is responsible for intelligence, along with the ability to learn and analyse.

‘We chose three genes most studied by world science. There are conclusions that we can safely rely upon when designing a correction programme’, said Vladimir Maksimov, Head of Novosibirsk-based Laboratory for Molecular Genetic Research of Therapeutic Diseases. 

psychogenetics Russia
Professor Vladimir Maksimov. Picture: Laboratory for Molecular Genetic Research of Therapeutic Diseases

People in charge of experiment hope to find a path to correct various types of deviant behaviours in teenagers, for example, to re-direct tendency for aggression into extra sport like boxing, or a choice of risk-taking profession like rescue services.

‘We’d like to prepare a complex evaluation of every teenager based on scientific developments. Parents often push children into hobbies, based on their own wishes, not on children’s abilities. Everyone receives a certain set of genes which doesn’t change during life. It would be good to take this into account when choosing life goals and future professions’, said Yevgeny Yakimchuk. 

Should the pilot version of experiment be successful, the team is hoping to spread it wider to children of all ages, and to various social groups.

Comments (7)

A truly disturbing idea. Misguided. Dangerous. Awful.
Frank Legrand, Paris
22/02/2021 05:34
@Joshua - not a bad theory; however I would send all the Neo Nazi's to the gas chambers, to get a taste of what their forefathers (grandparents, great grand parents) did for criminal atrocities to mankind in the name of human experimentation in the 40's...

@USA Town/Country - you are absolutely right that both environmental and genetic disposition affects behaviour, I would go even further to state that the subconscious / unconscious or id as Sigmeund Freud termed it, has a large impact on human behaviour too.

However it would be constructive if people in the USA would stop pointing fingers at everyone else and do some self critisizm and analysis themselves first for their own behaviour; - what with the abomnable slaughtering of the indigenous Red Indians (Chief Seattle's Testimony, 1854) and throwing them into reserves, the sadistic behaviour of the Klu Klux Klan, Prohibition Period, slavery and police violence on non white citizens; to name a few; are all INHUMANE okay.

Interestingly enough all the above stated is WHITE "GENETIC" VIOLENCE ON AFRICAN OR MINORITIES "GENETIC" VICTIMS...Do you see how the genetical behavioural patterns have a strange way of repeating themselves over history: Therefore it is wrong to state that "decent treatment, education and opportunities to succeed will always triumph over "genes". Although it would be a fantastic revoultion and vision; so start in your own country with decent treatment, education etc...for all lives; CAUSE ALL LIVES MATTER!!!
Anonymous, Switzerland
20/02/2021 23:48
So, a eugenics program in Russia should have been expected (long ago), so I rather doubt this is "new". Selective breeding and gene editing next maybe? Super soldiers immune to pain? Identify the most ruthless, violent and sadistic? There is nothing "visionary" about any of this - it's been tried before with disastrous results. Genes are not the only factors in human behavior, which is well known. Predisposition isn't the same thing as actual behavior either. Given economic opportunities greatly affects individual behavior FAR more then what "genes" they may have. Decent treatment, education and opportunities to succeed will always triumph over "genes".
USA, Town/country
19/02/2021 09:24
This is really a visionary method and personally I believe will achieve fruitful results, because its pro active and gets to the root of the problem(s) or positive multi talents at an early age.

Genes are a basic unit of heredity, we are born with them from our parents. Furthermore they influence our behaviour, thats why voilent, alcoholic or drug abuse parents will produce children with a higher predisposition (risk) to become voilent, alcoholics or drug addicts themselves...That's why I believe once a criminal, alcoholic, etc. always a criminal alcoholic, etc.because unfortunately its genetic. One can become clean however when certain stimuli arise again, the person will go back to their old ways in most cases.

The only point where I don't agree here, is with hyperactivity: because hyperactive children are usually highly intelligent, genious children, who learn fast, are HIGHLY CREATIVE, can multi task and are extremely multi talented. I know because I'm one of them, and it's almost impossible for them to channel into one career or profession.

It is wrong to state that all hyperactive kids are aggressive as stated in the article; we just have far too much energy and are often uncontrollable! which is overbearing for most adults and perceived as aggressive behaviour! I cannot even kill or swat a fly and would'nt know how an arm functioned; My weapon is my mouth!!!

However I was at a private school which was holistic in its approach,not just academic; so every afternoon hours of compulsory sport and ballet, plus all the extra activities like debating society, chess club, theatre group, choir etc...and sundays chapel service for the boarders. So yes sport and all extra mural and creative activities are a must to channel hyperactive kid's surplus of energy!

Such a pity that this new scientific innovation didn't exist in my day, however I was priviledged enough to have had British private school and university education in a diverse, multicultured and cosmopolitan environment in SA. In countries like Switzerland I would have been termed a problem kid and probably been drugged in order to calm me down, that is definitely the WRONG method. We are not easy to control, so are often misunderstood and persecuted in society unfortunately, because we don't fit into the conventional average "normal" littly box...
Anonymous, Switzerland
18/02/2021 00:03
A gene responsible for intelligence.??!!..!????....what is it ?
Jocelyne, FRANCE
16/02/2021 15:28
maybe it would be also not a bad idea to test parents?not with genes and this and that and what have you not? but with much simpler things? - my children should have it better than we had it-. a noble idea indeed...And they are being pushed by their parents, often against their own will, into ballet classes, dancing, modeling or the likes. when ,even a girl, would like much more get dirty hands on a greasy engine... and be HAPPY there. but if a BOY has the talent and wish to become a second Nurejew or Shalyapin,why not?
Benedikt MORAK, Russia
16/02/2021 07:42
What next? send the people with bad genes to the gas chamber?
Joshua, Northern Ireland
16/02/2021 00:31

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