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IQ is in the genes, researchers say

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Scientists working at the University of Manchester recently made a profound contribution to the identification of specific genes responsible for intelligence levels. According to Dr. Neil Pendleton, who led the research team, 40-50% of differences in mental abilities could be identified on the basis of genetic differences. Over 500,000 genetic markers were examined in 3,500 test subjects, allowing the team to draw numerous correlations between genetic differences and intellectual abilities. So Dr. Pendleton:

"This is the first reported research to examine the intelligence of healthy older adults and, using a comprehensive genetic survey, we were able to show a substantial genetic contribution in our ability to think...The study confirms the earlier findings of the research in twins. However, that research could not show which genes were or were not contributing to cognitive ability. Our work demonstrates that the number of individual genes involved in intelligence is large, which is similar to other human traits, such as height...We can now use the findings to better understand how these genes interact with each other and the environment, which has an equally significant contribution. With our collaborators, we will take this work forward to find the biological mechanisms that could maintain our intellectual abilities and wellbeing in late life"(University of Manchester, 2011)

In other words, while they were able to establish the fact that genes were responsible for up to half of differences in intellectual ability, the number of genes responsible for these differences was too large for them to be able to identify a specific "genius" gene, or anything like it.

University of Manchester. (2011, August 12). Research reveals genetic link to human intelligence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110811215420.htm

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