I think Epigenetic science is continuing to uncover hidden markers within our genetic code that will help those that need help. I just finished a 2 hour radio interview and in part we discussed the linked story. I wrote about a blood test in the novel, Bobby’s Socks.
It is bitter sweet to share an excerpt from Bobby’s Socks. The below excerpt was written several years ago, at the time there was no ‘blood test’ to detect a human beings tendency toward suicide. Bobby’s Socks was written based on the hard work that was discovered at McGill University, and I noted in a previous post from a PBS story. At the time they were using brain samples from the Quebec Suicide Brain Bank.
Bobby’s Socks – Chapter 19 – page 157
“Well, I guess it’s show and tell time,” Dr. Richie said. She fumbled with her glasses.
“I like my socks,” Robert said. “I guess fate spun me some colorful ones.” He smiled over at Dr. Richie, but she had a serious, intent expression.
“Sorry, Bobby,” Dr. Richie said.
“Sorry?” Robert asked.
“Where do I start?” Dr. Richie took in a deep, thoughtful breath. She exhaled through her puckered lips.
“Am I crazy?” Robert said.
“No. Okay, so I got all your test results back.” She opened the folder. “You’re physically in okay shape, though you need to lose some weight. Your liver enzymes are high, so you really, really need to cut back on your drinking, if not quite all together.”
“I know, I expected you might say that,” Robert said.
“I really like you, Bobby. You’re a truly nice fellow. I have note had the opportunity to have meaningful talk therapy for quite some time. We don’t have the time to just talk with our patients these days. It’s about money and all. Clinically, I’ve gotten a great deal of insight from our visits. So thank you …”
“Most girls don’t like nice,” Robert said.
“Until they get a bit older and date a few jerks,” Dr. Richie said.
“I’ve been a jerk a few times.”
“Stop. Let me get through this,” Dr. Richie said.
Robert glanced over at Dr. Richie. She scowled and clenched her jaw.
“Not good,” Robert said.
“No, not good,” Dr. Richie said. She shook her head.
“All right, stop pussyfootin’ and get with it,” Robert said.
“Sometimes science discovers new tests, and I really wonder if they are good, or it they open up a Pandora’s Box, as it were.” She slid her glasses back up her nose. “We did some DNA testing with your blood and tried our a new Epigenetic test that , unfortunately, came back positive. We did the test five times – same result.”
Robert squirmed in the cushioned chair. “Positive for what?”
“If you think about it, I don’t think you’ll be shocked,” Dr. Richie said. She blinked her eyelids rapidly. “Within your DNA structure, within your stress response genes, we found what we think is a suicide gene. It has a much more scientific name, but for our conversations, that is ultimately what it causes.”