The First 52 Genes Identified

AFP (via Yahoo News) reports on a new study establishing an initial confluence of genes correlated with IQ:

Paris (AFP) – Scientists on Monday announced the discovery of 52 genes linked to human intelligence, 40 of which have been identified as such for the first time.

The findings also turned up a surprising connection between intelligence and autism that could one day help shed light on the condition’s origins.

Taken together, the new batch of “smart genes” accounted for 20 percent of the discrepencies in IQ test results among tens of thousands of people examined, the researchers reported in the journal Nature Genetics.

“For the first time, we were able to detect a substantial amount of genetic effects in IQ,” said Danielle Posthuma, a researcher at the Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research in Amsterdam, and the main architect of the study.

“Our findings provide insight into the biological underpinnings of intelligence,” she told AFP.

Most of the newly discovered gene variants linked to elevated IQ play a role in regulating cell development in the brain, especially neuron differentiation and the formation of neural information gateways called synapses.

An international team of 30 scientists combed through 13 earlier studies in which detailed genetic profiles and intelligence evaluations — based on IQ tests — had been compiled for 78,000 people, all of European descent.

Uh-oh. They only looked at individuals of ‘European descent’ (aka ‘white’).

What will happen when they expand their pool of subjects to include other races?

Many of the genetic variations linked with high IQ also correlated with other attributes: more years spent in school, bigger head size in infancy, tallness, and even success in kicking the tobacco habit.

Wait, what? “Bigger head size in infancy”? Isn’t that, like, from the phronetics days? This, despite the fact that the correlation between IQ and brain size has been long noted by evil deviants like Rushton, et al.

Experts agree that genes probably account for up to half of measured intelligence. But even if scientists could map all the genetic quirks that contribute to being brainy, that might not be enough to predict IQ, much less success in life.

Whoa. The next thing you know, these ‘experts’ will be asserting, definitively, that there are real and genetic-based variations in IQ by race.

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