Genes play a role in educational achievement, but not as much as your parents’ education does

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Image credit: iStock

What’s more important, genes or environment? …The advent of genomics has given us a new perspective on the role of genetic variants in a lot of traits, but it hasn’t necessarily stopped the arguing. The reasons are nicely highlighted by a new paper that describes a massive genetic screen for factors associated with educational success.

The study screened more than a million people for genetic variants associated with time spent in school.

Time spent in school is a rough measure of educational achievement.

[The study identified] 1,271 sites in the genome that appear to be associated with time spent in school…, [but] the entire set of 1,271 sites can only account for about 12 percent of the total variation in educational attainment, meaning nearly 90 percent of the variation is caused by something else. We do know a couple of those causes—these genes edge out household income in terms of the strength of their impact but come in behind having a parent with an extended educational background.

Related article:  300,000-year-old stone tools found in Saudi Arabian desert could shed light on human migration out of Africa

Put differently, if your mom has a PhD, it will probably have a stronger impact on your educational trajectory than your genes will.

Read full, original post: The genetics of education: 1,271 genes account for 10% of the variation.

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