A Gene That Could Make You Defy Death: D4DR

Extreme sport is a general name given to sports that involve more risks and difficulties than other sports. In other words, extreme sports also called action or adventure sports, provide people with adrenaline-filled moments because they have more risks and difficulties compared to many other sports. Although extreme sports are often thought of as dangerous sports, we can say that it is safe if you know what to do and how to do it and if you have received the necessary training. In fact, every sport carries risks, if you do not have enough knowledge and experience about it…

Why Do Some People Love Adventures?

Now let’s come to the answer to our question. This is a question that has an answer that will change depending on whoever you ask. For example, while your family might answer, “You were always like this when you were a kid” or if you stop a stranger and ask them they might say “craziness“. If we look at it in terms of social media, the answer is to be able to say “I’m not dying! Here I am” so that it can be launched on the news headlines. In this case, the phrase “death-defying” is completely misunderstood. When we look at scientific data, we can understand why it is wrong. The answer is; the D4DR gene that not everyone has!

Extreme Sports Gorsel

A Rare Gene Hidden in Chromosome 11: D4DR

D4DR is a gene that is hidden in the 11th chromosome and is not found in the DNA of every human being based on the examinations made by scientists. According to US scientist Dean Hammer, people with this gene constantly seek excitement and are addicted to dopamine, which the brain secretes to make you feel this feeling of excitement. If you have this gene, you have an unstoppable curiosity. Not only against sports; You wonder about the void of space, the infinity of the sky, or the unknown of how long a person can survive without water.

Extreme Sports Tasarim

Another scientific explanation comes from the neurobiologist David McCobb of Cornell University in the USA. McCobb, who has been working on this subject for many years, has defined a chemical chain that accelerates the release of the hormone adrenaline. When this protein chain, which he calls “STREX” (Stress-Axis Regulated Exon), is formed, the hormones in the human body are activated and adrenaline is pumped into the body with great force. Some people have high levels of Strex, while others have low. Besides chemical explanations, there are also sociological and psychological explanations.

It’s Human Nature To Take Risks!

For example, according to psychologist Marvin Zuckerman of the University of Delaware, it is in human nature to take risks: “There is a very simple reason behind adventure: excitement. Along with curiosity, people with the D4DR gene are more likely to be nomadic, according to a 1999 paper by four scientists from UC Irvine. In their research at the time of writing their article, they noticed that almost all research participants had a long travel history.

Extreme Sport

On top of that, Dobbs; Dozens of studies show the correlation that the D4DR gene increases the desire to explore new places, new ideas, new relationships, or new sexual opportunities, especially by embracing movement, change, and adventure.” Supporting Dobbs, researchers report in the online open-access journal PloS One that a particular version of a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4 is linked to people’s propensity for both cheating and one-night stands.

While hormones are still not a completely explored subject with a lot of ongoing research, we have learned a lot about them. We can say that they direct all our emotions and determine our behaviors. Chemical findings such as the STREX Chain and the D4DR gene explain that people are fond of adrenaline and do extreme sports.

References and Further Reading

Naruse, K., Tang, Q. Y., & Sokabe, M. (2009). Stress-Axis Regulated Exon (STREX) in the C terminus of BKCa channels is responsible for the stretch sensitivity. Biochemical and biophysical research communications385(4), 634-639.

Neve KA, Seamans JK, Trantham-Davidson H (August 2004). “Dopamine receptor signaling”. Journal of Receiver and Signal Transmission Research. 24 (3): 165–205.

Van Tol HH, Wu CM, Guan HC, Ohara K, Bunzow JR, Civelli O, Kennedy J, Seeman P, Niznik HB, Jovanovic V (July 1992). “Multiple dopamine D4 receptor variants in the human population”. Nature. 358(6382): 149-52.

Pappas, S. (2010, December 1). Like to sleep around? blame your genes. LiveScience. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from

Van Tol HH, Bunzow JR, Guan HC, Sunahara RK, Seeman P, Niznik HB, Civelli O (April 1991). “Cloning of the gene for a human dopamine D4 receptor with high affinity for the antipsychotic clozapine”. Nature350 (6319): 610–4.

The proofreading has been done by Asu Pelin Akköse and Mete Esencan.

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Melisa Şalk

Hello there! I'm Melisa Salk. I am a student of chemistry teaching department at METU. I love reading, learning new things, being intertwined with science and art. I enjoy researching and writing about the things I have learned. I am happy to share my writings with you through OkButWhy.

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