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'LONDON - Scientists have discovered a way of manipulating a gene that turns animals into drones that do not become bored with repetitive tasks. The experiments, conducted on monkeys, are the first to demonstrate that animal behaviour can be permanently changed, turning the subjects from aggressive to "compliant" creatures.
The genes are identical in humans and although the discovery could help to treat depression and other types of mental illness, it will raise images of the Epsilon caste from Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World.
The experiments -- detailed in the journal Nature Neuroscience this month -- involved blocking the effect of a gene called D2 in a particular part of the brain. This cut off the link between the rhesus monkeys' motivation and reward.
Instead of speeding up with the approach of a deadline or the prospect of a "treat," the monkeys in the experiment could be made to work just as enthusiastically for long periods. The scientists say the identical technique would apply to humans.' (Ottawa Citizen article)