Health Care

Study identifies 538 genes related to intelligence

Study identifies 538 genes related to intelligence”

Previous studies have suggested that between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of intelligence is inherited, and the rest comes through upbringing, friendship groups and education.

The genes seemed to influence other biological processes, with some also associated with living longer.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton, and Harvard University have compared variation in DNA in more than 240,000 people from around the world.

They found that the genes accounted for a difference of up to seven per cent in IQ by boosting the way neurons carry signals in the brain. Researchers from Harvard University in the US, University of Edinburgh and University of Southampton in the United Kingdom identified 538 genes that play a role in intellectual ability.

More than 500 genes associated with intelligence have been identified in the largest study of its kind.

The findings published in Molecular Psychiatry shed fresh light on the biological building blocks of people's differences in intelligence.

Colleague and study leader Dr David Hill said intelligence was a "heritable trait" and the study was able to predict it in one study group "using only their DNA".

Earlier this year, a study of more than 78,000 people uncovered 52 genes linked to intelligence. That figure was calculated by studying identical twins who share the same DNA, therefore any differences in IQ between them must be non-genetic.

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