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Bio Seminar Script
Emma Kerr
Both serotonin and melatonin shape our personalities, and how we react to the situations around us. Along with dopamine and norepinephrine, serotonin is also a chemical manifestation of our personality. Serotonin is more complicated than dopamine and norepinephrine in that it is significantly harder to determine its characteristics. If you have extremely high levels, you are more inclined to be a compulsive person; obsessed with tidiness and caution almost to a neurotic point. Individuals with OCD, or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are said to have very high levels. On the other side of the spectrum individuals with extremely low levels are said to be impulsive and are likely to commit violent crimes or rash decisions. Serotonin gets further complicated when we look at the serotonin-transporter gene. Found on chromosome 17, the gene acts as a dimmer switch at the beginning of the gene; it can slow down the expression of the gene itself. So, the variation in length is caused by a variable number of repetitions of the same sequence, and about one in three of us have two copies of the long sequence, which is significantly worse at switching off its gene. Basically, people with two copies of the long sequence have more serotonin transporting through their bodies, thus leading to a more agreeable, less neurotic person. In addition, serotonin levels are not innate. Something as simple as your diet can increase or decrease them. For example, drugs ...


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