Scientists identify mutations associated with intelligence for first time

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Image: Harald Grovan

The following is an editorial summary.

Researchers have been searching for genetic markers linked to intelligence for more than a decade. Not one study on the subject has produced a single reproducible result. Until now.

A group of researchers has identified ten variations in DNA that may be associated with intelligence, described in a report in the May 30, 2013, issue of the Journal Science. To get that result, a group of around 200 researchers analyzed the compared the genetic information of 100,000 people (who had for previous studies, been analyzed for 2.5 million SNPs) against their educational backgrounds.

The researchers found ten SNPS correlated with high educational achievement. Then–and this is important–they used data from an additional 26,000 people to confirm the correlations uncovered by studying the first 100,000. The results held.

Educational achievement isn’t a true proxy for intelligence, and each mutation accounted for a miniscule amount of the variation, but this result is the first concrete look at the link between specific genes and intelligence.

Read the full story here: Finding the players in the symphony of IQ genes

Additional Resources:

Humans have long speculated about the degree to which intelligence is determined by genetics. For some articles exploring this topic, see below:

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
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