Researchers Discover New Genetic Roots that Underpin Intelligence

Researchers have made a major development in understanding genes that influence intelligence. Using a large dataset of over 78,000 people with information on intelligence scores and DNA genotypes, the scientists discovered new biological routes and genes for intelligence.
Intelligence is among the most investigated human traits. Despite high heritability estimations of 80 percent in adulthood and 45 percent in childhood, only a few genes had earlier been linked to intelligence. According to a study that was published in the journal Nature Genetics, 52 genes determine human intelligence. Of these genes, 40 are new discoveries.
Also, the study showed that genetic impacts on intelligence are correlated with genetic impacts on educational accomplishment, and also, though less strongly, with intracranial volume, smoking cessation, height, autism spectrum disorder and head circumference in infancy. Inverse genetic associations were reported with depressive symptoms, Alzheimer’s disease, waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference, schizophrenia, body mass index, and smoking history.
Scientists need to do more research to clarify the exact role of the discovered genes in intelligence. This will enable us to have a complete picture of how different genes result in intelligence differences. Currently, genetic results explain about 5 percent of the total differences in intelligence. While this is a large amount of difference for an intelligence trait, there is still a long road to go.


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