In today’s Sunday Review section of the Times is an op-ed piece entitled “The Feel-Good Gene.” The happy gene is described as a variant, or mutation, of the gene that produces an enzyme called FAAH. FAAH deactivates anandamide, the “major naturally occurring cannabinoid in our brain.” Ananda, as all you possums know, means bliss is Sanskrit. Anandamide is the “bliss molecule,” and is closely related to THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. If you’re Yoruban, you have a 45% chance of having this “advantageous molecule.” Poor white guys comme moi have only a 21% chance. Bummer.
Studies show “humanized mice that got the variant gene were less anxious, as evidenced by their spending more time in the open section of a maze.” Anxious mice “prefer the safety of the enclosed arms of the maze.”
Sunday morning. I love Sunday mornings, the city quiet and calm. Believe I’ll do a few puffs, a half hour of meditation, a little Yoruba drumming and dancing, and nose out some space in the maze with fellow humanized mice.