Saturday, February 25, 2012

Genes for intelligence

I'm never quite sure why headlines on science websites feel the need to include 'experts say'. Does this imply that some of their reports are from random non-experts?

Anyway, on ScienceDaily today:

In the Genes, but Which Ones? Studies That Linked Specific Genes to Intelligence Were Largely Wrong, Experts Say.

 For decades, scientists have understood that there is a genetic component to intelligence, but a new Harvard study has found both that most of the genes thought to be linked to the trait are probably not in fact related to it, and identifying intelligence's specific genetic roots may still be a long way off.
"As is the case with other traits, like height, there are probably thousands of genes and their variants that are associated with intelligence, and there may be other genetic effects beyond the single gene effects -- there could be interactions between genes, there could be interactions between genes and the environment. What our results show is that the way researchers have been looking for genes that may be related to intelligence -- the candidate gene method -- is fairly likely to result in false positives, so other methods should be used."

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