Intelligence Gene? Not really (intelligent).

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posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 04:51 AM
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Reuters picked up a story that was then pick up by a few other outlets, some of the latter using "Intelligence Gene" as the headline.


(Reuters) - Researchers have found a gene linking intelligence to the thickness of so-called "grey matter" in the brain, and say their discovery could help scientists understand how and why some people have learning difficulties.

An international team of scientists analyzed DNA samples and brain scans from more than 1,500 healthy 14-year-olds and gave them a series of tests to establish their verbal and non-verbal intelligence.

The researchers looked at the cerebral cortex - the outermost layer of the brain that is also known as "grey matter" and plays a key role in memory, attention, perceptual awareness, thought, language and consciousness.

They then analyzed more than 54,000 genetic variants possibly involved in brain development and found that, on average, teenagers with a particular gene variant had a thinner cortex in the left half of their brains - and were the ones who performed less well on tests for intellectual ability.

"The genetic variation we identified is linked to synaptic plasticity - how neurons communicate," said Sylvane Desrivieres, who led the study at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry.

"This may help us understand what happens at a neuronal level in certain forms of intellectual impairments, where the ability of the neurons to communicate effectively is somehow compromised."

She stressed, however, that their finding did not amount to a discovery of a "gene for intelligence".


www.reuters.com...

RT Says:


Researchers at King’s College London have discovered a gene that draws a link between the thickness of gray matter in the brain and a person’s level of intelligence. The findings of the research were published in the scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry on Tuesday.
And quotes:

The new discoveries will be invaluable, however, in understanding the biology that leads to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.

"This may help us understand what happens at a neuronal level in certain forms of intellectual impairments, where the ability of the neurons to communicate effectively is somehow compromised,” Desrivieres said.


rt.com...

The journal is here. Paper is for members only it looks like. No abstracts.

In any case, if it's not the intelligence gene, is it the retard gene? I'm not sure you can rectify the issue. If it plays a role in intelligence, even if it is not a major factor but enough to cause noticeable effects if, that would suggest it is a gene that people would be interested in getting genetically modified babies with altered gene expression.

No?

www.globalresearch.ca...
edit on 12-2-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-2-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 07:23 AM
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On a slightly different note on something to consider regarding Intelligence; Have you ever wondered at the sheer volume of brain Whales and Elephants have in comparison to Humans?

Were Intelligence a simple matter of counting neurons, we'd expect Whales and Elephants to beat us fins and trunks down.
Brain Sizes

The largest brains are those of sperm whales, weighing about 8 kg (18 lb). An elephant's brain weighs just over 5 kg (11 lb), a bottlenose dolphin's 1.5 to 1.7 kg (3.3 to 3.7 lb), whereas a human brain is around 1.3 to 1.5 kg (2.9 to 3.3 lb).


Further, in looking at intelligence itself:

Studies demonstrate a clear biological basis to intelligence, with larger brains predicting higher intelligence. The majority of MRI studies report correlations around 0.3 to 0.4 between brain volume and intelligence. The most consistent associations are observed within the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes, the hippocampi, and the cerebellum, but only account for a relatively small amount of variance in IQ, which suggests that while brain size may be related to human intelligence, other factors also play a role. In addition, brain volumes do not correlate strongly with other and more specific cognitive measures. In men, IQ correlates more with gray matter volume in the frontal lobe and parietal lobe, which is roughly involved in sensory integration and attention, whereas in women it correlates with gray matter volume in the frontal lobe and Broca's area, which is involved in language. Research measuring brain volume, P300 auditory evoked potentials, and intelligence shows a dissociation, such that both brain volume and speed of P300 correlate with measured aspects of intelligence, but not with each other. This suggests different mechanisms are involved in a full description of the physiology underlying human intelligence.[


Additionally, there's some material on a different link:
Neuroscience and intelligence #Brain_size

It's all very fun and fascinating stuff.

It's a wonder out of all the various and intensely complicated discoveries and avenues of research we as humanity have explored and examined in finite detail, our own brains in many ways still elude us.

Perhaps our own artificial children, if ever we realize true Artificial Intelligence, may one day help us to fill in many of the gaps in understanding our own biological complication.





posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


Bigger is not better all the time, consider a crow and how smart they are despite their small brain, remember the brain is not used entirely to think, but also its used to control body functions

some links are nice to see

Cetacean intelligence

Use of tools by animals

Are Whales Smarter Than We Are?

Bird intelligence
edit on 12-2-2014 by Indigent because: (no reason given)


Neural connections, organization, all this things are important
edit on 12-2-2014 by Indigent because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 07:44 AM
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of course if a brain is too big and or too smart...
vaccinate it...maybe a little autism'll slow it down



posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


Yes if you look at how elephants mourn their dead, there's something going on up there in their brain, almost like they comprehend the meaning of death, which implies some sort of intelligence to me. There are also complex whale songs.

But I am very skeptical intelligence will ever be tied to a simple gene, like a simpler trait might be such as eye color. I suspect it would be related to a complex series of different genes.

Understand what is going on with savants who have exceptional abilities in some respects but lacking in others will probably be challenging to figure out. There does seem to be a genetic link in autism but it's probably not tied to any single gene, is my guess.



posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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I tend to lean towards a mix of factors which deterime or influence IQ (not just regurgitating that which was learned, but including other brain functions such as creativity, etc., and including hereditary factors). In particular, pollution effects upon developing and already developed brains.

Here are some studies for your perusal and contemplation at the link below.

www.cleanairplus.com...




Based on these two recent studies – and on several others that are constantly being conducted – it is plain to see that a link of some sort does exist between elevated levels of air pollution and impaired brain function. The Columbia study, in particular, should concern parents-to-be who want to give their children the best start on life possible. Escaping to the country from the smog-filled city, though, really isn’t good enough. Indoor air quality is a major concern, and since most of us spend the majority of our time inside our homes it’s safe to say that it plays a major role in the pollutants that we breathe.
edit on 12-2-2014 by InTheLight because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Came back. Forgot to comment, give you your F&S. ...To clarify, the so-called "intelligence gene" was discovered in 2009 ( NPTN) - what these guys found was an aberrant protein called "rs7171755," that acts on NPTN to affect its expression.

Big difference.



The rs7171755 polymorphism acted …to affect expression in the human brain of the synaptic cell adhesion glycoprotein-encoding gene NPTN.

edit on 13/2/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Good find.
edit on 13-2-2014 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 04:40 PM
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Indigent
reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


Bigger is not better all the time, consider a crow and how smart they are despite their small brain, remember the brain is not used entirely to think, but also its used to control body functions

some links are nice to see

Cetacean intelligence

Use of tools by animals

Are Whales Smarter Than We Are?

Bird intelligence
edit on 12-2-2014 by Indigent because: (no reason given)


Neural connections, organization, all this things are important
edit on 12-2-2014 by Indigent because: (no reason given)


Women also have a smaller (on average) brain size than men, and everyone knows girls are smarter than boys.


Kidding aside, Intelligence is a complex problem that will have several contributing factors.

Saying a car goes faster just because one presses a pedal harder or even to the floor doesn't account for all the bits between the pedal and engine, the engine itself and all its parts, as well as the type of fuel/air/spark mixture going on any any other variables that go into making a car go faster.

Here, we have the brain; any brain. Perhaps we found the pedal to push, but, that wouldn't matter much with an improperly tuned, or damaged engine.

In understanding Intelligence, we're going to see several sundry factors going into the determination of all the whats, hows, and whys of it.




posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


Saying a car goes faster just because one presses a pedal harder or even to the floor doesn't account for all the bits between the pedal and engine, the engine itself and all its parts, as well as the type of fuel/air/spark mixture going on any any other variables that go into making a car go faster.


Like that. Worth repeating. S&



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 05:42 AM
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soficrow
reply to post by boncho
 


Came back. Forgot to comment, give you your F&S. ...To clarify, the so-called "intelligence gene" was discovered in 2009 ( NPTN) - what these guys found was an aberrant protein called "rs7171755," that acts on NPTN to affect its expression.

Big difference.



The rs7171755 polymorphism acted …to affect expression in the human brain of the synaptic cell adhesion glycoprotein-encoding gene NPTN.

edit on 13/2/14 by soficrow because: (no reason given)


You are correct that the gene/protein were not discovered by this group of researchers, but their evidence does suggest the gene may play some role in brain development and intelligence. Also, note that rs7171755 is not a protein. it is a single nucleotide polymorphism found in what appears to be a regulatory region of the NPTN gene. They found that this variant causes a decrease in expression of this gene (so less NPTN protein was produced) and that this appears to decrease cortical thickness and decreased performance on tests of intellectual ability:



Our data also support the notion
that cortical thickness differentially has an impact on verbal and
nonverbal abilities. Although average thickness, particularly in the
prefrontal cortex, influenced nonverbal cognitive abilities, more
regionally restricted structural effects may control verbal abilities.


They do acknowledge that the effect is rather subtle though:



It should be noted that the effect sizes observed in our
experiments are small, as might be expected from mutations in
human genes that regulate late events in neural differentiation.
Such mutations may not cause gross cortical malformations, but
rather more subtle cognitive and behavioral defects. Given this
and the age specificity of our observations, a major challenge
remains to generate additional studies to replicate our findings.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 06:24 AM
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reply to post by AliceBleachWhite
 


I got nothing to say, we agree (
agreeing in ats is the world ending?)

Only thing i can say about all you said is you are smart, you must be a woman
(best joke i can make
ignore if it doesn't make sense)




posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 08:54 AM
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Intelligence has a relation to brain size relative to lean body mass. Overall brain size is not relevant to intelligence, if you have a huge body you need to have a huge brain just to control it.

There are quite a few genetic conditions that have an effect on intelligence. Most of the better known have negative effects (downs, prader willy etc). Myopia, torsion dystonia and some others are associated with higher IQ's in sufferers.

Genes dictate your brain construction, it's weird that so many people believe it doesn't have an effect on intelligence.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by Malthus
 



You are correct that the gene/protein were not discovered by this group of researchers, but their evidence does suggest the gene may play some role in brain development and intelligence. Also, note that rs7171755 is not a protein. it is a single nucleotide polymorphism found in what appears to be a regulatory region of the NPTN gene.

...They do acknowledge that the effect is rather subtle though:


Thanks and gotcha.
Is it likely this variant was environmentally induced, resulting from exposure to radiation or chemicals? But is NOT an epigenetic effect? Also, can we say given rs7171755 accounted for "only about 0.5% of the total variation in intelligence," the effect was extremely subtle?



The researchers reported looking at over 54,000 genetic variants possibly involved in brain development. They found that, on average, teenagers carrying a particular gene variant, rs7171755, had a thinner cortex in the left cerebral hemisphere, particularly in the frontal and temporal lobes, and performed less well on tests for intellectual ability. …the King’s scientists acknowledged that the genetic variation identified in their study accounted for only about 0.5% of the total variation in intelligence, they concluded that their findings still support a potential role for regional synaptic dysfunctions in forms of intellectual deficits.


Again, thank you for your kind and respectful guidance.



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 12:45 PM
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soficrow

Thanks and gotcha.
Is it likely this variant was environmentally induced, resulting from exposure to radiation or chemicals? But is NOT an epigenetic effect? Also, can we say given rs7171755 accounted for "only about 0.5% of the total variation in intelligence," the effect was extremely subtle?



Definitely extremely subtle.


My opinion is that the variant is probably something that exists in the general population, but it's difficult to speculate on the origin of the variant without study. It's not highly deleterious and probably has very little negative impact on survival and reproduction. Who knows, it might even have some positive effects that we aren't yet aware of.

I saw no evidence for any epigenetic effects. It's a simple change of one base pair to another.

I noticed one of your concerns appears to be that some proponents of eugenics will use this type of evidence to support their agenda. I agree with you that this would be wrong. I am not totally against eugenics (it may be useful in preventing some genetic conditions), but I feel that subtle effects like this hardly warrant a eugenics approach. Also, as I noted above there could be positive effects related to this variant that we just aren't aware of. Eugenics is a dangerous area of research, we have to ensure we aren't inadvertently removing genetic variation that is actually beneficial to humanity. In this case we may achieve a subtle gain in the population's intelligence at the risk of losing something else that we aren't even aware of. Hardly worth the risk or effort.


soficrow

Again, thank you for your kind and respectful guidance.



You're welcome
edit on 14-2-2014 by Malthus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 14 2014 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by Malthus
 


I didn't see evidence of epigenetic origins, which is what I was looking for - but seems that nucleotide might require an environmental trigger to activate. Still reading.

....The Eugenics/Genetics agenda gets particularly creepy when you recognize proponents tend to view prion-induced chronic disease as resulting from "genetic susceptibility" aka "genetic inferiority," and further consider the fact that we're in the middle of a chronic disease pandemic. I see mass culling on the horizon, justified by pseudo-science.

Thanks again.





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