The Curse of The Two Left Feet

12 February 2006
Posted by Chris Smith.

If you’re thinking of getting down and dirty on the dance floor this Valentine’s day, then there could be an explanation as to why some people are better dancers than others. And unfortunately the answers can be found in your genes, rather than your jeans. Previous research has suggested that musicians and athletes might have special differences in their genes compared to the less talented of us, so researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have been studying the DNA from dancers and comparing it with the genes of people with two metaphorical left feet. The team, led by Professor Richard Ebstein, found that dancers had key differences in two genes – these are called the Serotonin Transporter and Arginine Vasopressin Receptor 1a. The genes play an important role in the brain, and are thought to be involved in ‘spiritual’ experiences. The researchers also found that dancers had a particular personality type – they have a heightened sense of communication, enjoying ceremonies and symbols, and had strongly spiritual personalities. We’ll leave it up to you to figure out which of the Naked Scientists team can bust their moves on the dance floor, and who has two left feet!

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