by Queen Mary, University of London Some people are more sensitive than others—and around half of these differences can be attributed to our genes, new research has found. The study, led by Queen Mary University of London, compared pairs of identical and non-identical 17-year-old twins to see how strongly they were affected by positive or negative experiences—their ‘sensitivity’ level. The aim was to tease out how much of the differences in sensitivity could be explained by either genetic or environmental factors during development: nature or nurture. Twins who are brought up together will mostly experience the same environment. But only identical twins share the same genes: non-identical twins are like any other sibling. If identical twins show no more similarity in their levels of sensitivity than non-identical twins, then genes are unlikely to play a role. Using this type of analysis, the team found that 47 percent of the differences in sensitivity between individuals were down to genetics, leaving 53 percent accounted for by environmental factors. The research, from Queen Mary University of London and Kings College London, is the first to show this link conclusively in such a large study. The findings are published in Molecular Psychiatry. Michael Pluess, Professor of Developmental Psychology at Queen Mary University of London and study lead, said: “We are all affected by what we experience—sensitivity is something we all share as a basic human trait. But we also differ in how much of an impact our experiences have on us. Scientists have always thought there was a genetic basis for sensitivity, but this is the first time we’ve been able to actually quantify how much of these differences in sensitivity are explained by genetic factors.” Over 2800 twins were involved in the study, split between around 1000 identical twins and 1800 non-identical twins, roughly half of whom were same sex. The twins were asked to fill out a questionnaire, developed by Professor Pluess, which has been widely used to test an individual’s levels of sensitivity to their environment This test will be made available online later this month so anyone can assess their own sensitivity. The questionnaire is also able to tease out different types of sensitivity—whether someone is more sensitive to negative experiences or positive experiences—as well as general sensitivity. The analysis by the team suggested that these different sensitivities also have a genetic basis. Co-researcher Dr. Elham Assary said: “If a child is more sensitive to negative experiences, it may be that they become more easily stressed and anxious in challenging situations. On the other hand, if a child has a higher sensitivity to positive experiences, it may be that they are more responsive to good parenting or benefit more from psychological interventions at school. What our study shows is that these different aspects of sensitivity all have a genetic basis.” Finally, the team explored how sensitivity to other common and established personality traits, known as the ‘Big Five’: openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism. They found that there was a shared genetic component between sensitivity, neuroticism and extraversion, but not with any of the other personality traits. Professor Pluess believes the findings could help us in how we understand and handle sensitivity, in ourselves and others. “We know from previous research that around a third of people are at the higher end of the sensitivity spectrum. They are generally more strongly affected by their experiences,” he said. “This can have both advantages and disadvantages. Because we now know that this sensitivity is as much due to biology as environment, it is important for people to accept their sensitivity as an important part of who they are and consider it as a strength not just as a weakness.” Medical Xpress

0
114

By Julianne Geiger

The American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated on Tuesday a small crude oil inventory draw of 483,000 barrels for the week ending May 29.

Analysts had predicted an inventory build of 3.038 million barrels.

In the previous week, the API estimated a build in crude oil inventories of 8.731 million barrels. Meanwhile, the EIA’s estimates were for more muted, with the industry body reporting last week that the inventories had climbed by 7.9 million barrels.

WTI was trading up on Tuesday afternoon prior to the API’s data release as OPEC pushed up the timeline for its meeting to discuss the future of the group’s current oil production cut plans which are set to expire at the end of June. Indications are that Saudi Arabia hopes to extend the cuts in some form until the end of the year, while Russia is rumored to prefer an extension of a month or two at most,

Either way, the market likes the idea of more cuts, with the understanding that cutting production through June will be insufficient to draw down the global glut that is weighing on prices and taxing storage capacity,

Oil production in the United States has now fallen from 13.1 million bpd on March 13 to 11.4 million bpd for May 22, according to the Energy Information Administration—a drop of 1.7 million bpd—more than OPEC’s production cut agreement from last year.

At 4:16 pm EDT on Tuesday the WTI benchmark was trading up on the day by $1.42 (+4.01%) at $36.86. The price of a Brent barrel was trading up on Tuesday as well, by $1.31 (+3.42%), at $39.63.

The API reported a build of 1.706 million barrels of gasoline for week ending May 29—compared to last week’s 1.120-barrel build. This week’s draw compares to analyst expectations for a 1.0 million-barrel build for the week.

Distillate inventories were up by 5.917 million barrels for the week, compared to last week’s 6.907-million-barrel build, while Cushing inventories saw a draw of 2.2 million barrels.

­­

At 4:37 pm EDT, WTI was trading at $36.93 while Brent was trading at $39.66.

Crude Oil

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here