A recent study mainly conducted in the University of Manchester has revealed the first direct biological evidence for a genetic contribution to people’s thinking skills.
University of Manchester scientists in collaboration with colleagues in Edinburgh and Australia, by testing people’s DNA for genetic variations, found out the existence of genetic link to human thinking skills.
According to Science Daily the team, focusing on two types of intelligence, studied more than 3,500 people from Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle and Manchester.
The research, which is conducted by Manchester team leader in the Centre for Integrated Genomic Research Dr Neil Pendleton and colleagues, indicated the existence of 40% to 50% of people’s differences in the framed thinking abilities that is related to their genetic differences.
By applying a new type of analysis, invented by Professor Peter Visscher and colleagues in Brisbane, more than half a million genetic markers were examined on every person in the study.
Though previous studies on twins and adopted people suggested that there is a substantial genetic contribution to thinking skills, this new study is the first to find a genetic contribution to human intelligence.
“As the study confirms the earlier findings of the research in twins, it is also 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,” said Dr Pendleton.
He also expressed that the study demonstrates that the number of individual genes involved in intelligence is large, which is similar to other human traits, such as height, but it could not identify the exact genes contributing to cognitive ability.
“We can take this work forward to find the biological mechanisms that could maintain our intellectual abilities and wellbeing in late life,” Pendleton concluded.
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