"One of the most celebrated findings in modern psychiatry — that a single gene helps determine one’s risk of depression in response to a divorce, a lost job or another serious reversal — has not held up to scientific scrutiny, researchers reported Tuesday."
"The authors reanalyzed the data and found 'no evidence of an association between the serotonin gene and the risk of depression,' no matter what people’s life experience was, Dr. Merikangas said.
"By contrast, she said, a major stressful event, like divorce, in itself raised the risk of depression by 40 percent."
As a general rule, don't listen to anyone telling you that there's a "gene for" this or that. Even if there's an Ph.D. or M.D. at the end of the name, it's an old and misleading way of discussing genetics.
Thankfully, it's not just the science that's improving. Reporting on genetics has also been getting demonstrably better. Today's piece is a nice example, as is this extraordinary piece by Carl Zimmer from last November.
Added June 30: A new piece by John Grohol, "Chasing the Genetic Ghosts of Mental Illness," speaks to this same critique.