Sandy Hook Shooter Adam Lanza's DNA To Be Studied By Geneticists

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Dec. 27 2012, Published 2:00 p.m. ET

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By Debbie Emery - Reporter

As the small Connecticut community of Newtown continues to ask, "Why?" scientists are looking for the answers in the DNA of shooter Adam Lanza.

The biological make-up of the mass murderer who opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14 will be studied by geneticists in a groundbreaking move to perhaps discover what sparked the shooting spree that left 20 children and six adults dead.

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Experts believe that the study will be the first of its kind, and geneticists will be looking for abnormalities or mutations in Lanza's DNA, but some critics are concerned that it could lead to problems for people who share genetic characteristics with criminals, but have not committed a crime.

Despite some skepticism, University of Connecticut spokesperson Tom Green said that state medical examiner H. Wayne Carver "has asked for help from our department of genetics" and they are "willing to give any assistance they can," reported

While he can not yet reveal details, Green revealed that the study has not begun and they are "standing by waiting to assist in any way we can."

Arthur Beaudet, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine is predicting that the geneticists will be looking for "mutations that might be associated with mental illnesses and ones that might also increase the risk for violence," he said, adding that he supports the research because "some mutations that are known to be associated with at least aggressive behavior if not violent behavior."

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"I don't think any one of these mutations would explain all of (the mass shooters), but some of them would have mutations that might be causing both schizophrenia and related schizophrenia violent behavior," explained Beaudet. "I think we could learn more about it and we should learn more about it."

However, concerns about the study are supported by the way some people seized on the topic of Asperger's syndrome when it was suggested that Lanza had been diagnosed with it, and they worry that the public reaction to the results of a genetic study could be even more harmful and extreme.

As previously reported, Adam's older brother, Ryan, sent a message to his dead sibling in a Facebook chat with the New York Post earlier this week, writing: "'I will miss you bro. I will always love you as long as I live."

Ryan, 24, noted that he too was a "victim," as he had lost both his mother and a brother whom he loved. "I miss you mom. I love you so much. You will be always in my heart," he wrote to 52-year-old Nancy Lanza, who was the first of Adam's victims.

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