THERE is no great genius without some touch of madness, they say. And now a new study has found there is indeed only a fine line between genius and madness as both share a particular gene. Scientists have discovered that creative people have a gene, called neuregulin 1, in common, which is also linked to psychosis and depression. In fact, it plays a role in brain development but a variant of it is linked to mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Lead scientist Szabolcs KTri of Semmelweis University in Hungary said this is the first study to show that a genetic variant associated with psychosis may have some beneficial functions. Molecular factors that are loosely associated with severe mental disorders but are present in many healthy people may have an advantage enabling us to think more creatively, he was quoted by 'The Daily Telegraph as saying. For the study, the scientists recruited a group of volunteers who considered themselves to be very creative and accomplished. To measure creativity, the volunteers were asked to respond to a series of unusual questions. For example: Just suppose clouds had strings attached to them which hang down to earth. What would happen? The subjects were scored based on the originality and flexibility of their answers. The volunteers also completed a questionnaire regarding their lifetime creative achievements before the researchers took blood samples. The results show a clear link between neuregulin 1 and creativity. Volunteers with the specific variant of this gene were more likely to have higher scores on the creativity assessment and also greater lifetime creative achievements than volunteers with a different form of the gene, the study has concluded. The study has been published in the 'Psychological Science journal. PTI