Geneticists studying Connecticut shooter's DNA
December 28, 2012 -- Updated 1040 GMT (1840 HKT)
- Spokeswoman: University of Connecticut Health Center geneticists are studying the DNA
- Genetics experts say no single gene or mutation will emerge to explain Adam Lanza's acts
- Lanza murdered 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook school on December 14
(CNN) -- Geneticists have begun studying the DNA of Connecticut gunman Adam Lanza, a spokeswoman for the University of Connecticut Health Center said Thursday.
The geneticists were asked to join the investigation by the state medical examiner's office, spokeswoman Carolyn Pennington told CNN. She said there is no specific genetic marker the team is looking for, and that lab results and a complete analysis of the DNA "are not expected for several weeks ... probably the end of January."
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said it is unlikely investigators will be able to find a genetic clue for what motivated Lanza, who fatally shot 26 people, including 20 children, in the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14. Lanza, who had also killed his mother before the school massacre, took his own life with a gunshot to the head.
Newtown: No more gifts, please
"There's no clear-cut sort of ... genes identified with the types of illnesses, mental illnesses, that may cause this sort of behavior," says Gupta.
Lanza buried in undisclosed location
What is Asperger's Syndrome?
Not only that, Gupta said, but "there are people who carry these genes who don't have the behavior still. I think it's very hard to sort of put those two things together."
Experts in genetics agree. Although there are genetic components to many mental illnesses, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of genes involved. Most believe that no single gene or mutation could be the smoking gun that foretells violent acts like those committed by Lanza.
"There's nothing you could look at that would give an answer," said Steve Warren, chairman of the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University.
"We don't know a gene that says 'this person has schizophrenia.' There's no way to come up with a conclusion that way."
Opinion: Predicting mass killings impossible
CNN's Caleb Hellerman contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
November 23, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
Adam Lanza was an isolated young man with deteriorating mental health and a fascination for mass violence, according to a report released by a Connecticut state agency.
December 14, 2013 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
Horror struck Newtown, Connecticut, in such a disturbing way that the nation still struggles with its impact a year later.
June 8, 2013 -- Updated 1120 GMT (1920 HKT)
Fifty miles from Newtown, workers hate that their products fall into the wrong hand. But the Second Amendment is sacred here.
Rabbi Shaul Praver says people in Newtown have grown weary of syrupy condolences.
June 8, 2013 -- Updated 1118 GMT (1918 HKT)
Congress may have defeated tighter gun laws, but states have been passing bills of their own in the wake of Newtown
Details continue to emerge about what precisely happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Here is a timeline of events that compiles the latest reporting.
An interactive tribute to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
May 25, 2013 -- Updated 0512 GMT (1312 HKT)
The public school district will receive $1.3 million to help the community recover from the , U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced.
March 29, 2013 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
Police released new documents related to the shootings last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, but a motive for the attack by the troubled young man remained elusive.
January 15, 2013 -- Updated 1626 GMT (0026 HKT)
His parents remember Dylan Hockley as such a happy child.
December 19, 2012 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
Amid the chaos that first-responder Ray Corbo witnessed on Friday, there is one image that he will never forget.
December 20, 2012 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
In many ways, Josh Stepakoff's childhood came to an abrupt halt at 10:49 a.m. on August 10, 1999.
December 20, 2012 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
When Lauren Rousseau's boyfriend wakes up, he can smell her perfume.
December 18, 2012 -- Updated 1530 GMT (2330 HKT)
Placing yourself in the path of flying bullets to protect innocents. It's a job description fitting for a soldier or police officer, but not for a school teacher.