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Single Gene Can Boost IQ By Six Points

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the pair-of-jeans-can-lower-them-at-least-20 dept.

Biotech 199

ananyo (2519492) writes "People are living longer, which is good. But old age often brings a decline in mental faculties and many researchers are looking for ways to slow or halt such decline. One group doing so is led by Dena Dubal of the University of California, San Francisco, and Lennart Mucke of the Gladstone Institutes, also in San Francisco. Dr Dubal and Dr Mucke have been studying the role in aging of klotho, a protein encoded by a gene called KL. A particular version of this gene, KL-VS, promotes longevity. One way it does so is by reducing age-related heart disease. Dr Dubal and Dr Mucke wondered if it might have similar powers over age-related cognitive decline. What they found was startling. KL-VS did not curb decline, but it did boost cognitive faculties regardless of a person's age by the equivalent of about six IQ points. If this result, just published in Cell Reports, is confirmed, KL-VS will be the most important genetic agent of non-pathological variation in intelligence yet discovered."

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199 comments

First post! (1, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 months ago | (#46951353)

Guess I got that gene!

Re:First post! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951425)

But those with it would guess not.

Re:First post! (5, Informative)

ideonexus (1257332) | about 2 months ago | (#46951653)

For everyone else who has that gene (I don't know if I do, I'm still trying to figure out what SNP KLOTHO references in my genetic results [ideonexus.com] ), and can't stand reading the Economist's painfully dumbed-down explanation of the research, here's the actual paper [cell.com] .

Re:First post! (2)

ideonexus (1257332) | about 2 months ago | (#46951679)

Found the SNP: KL-VS refers to rs9536314 for F352V and rs9527025 for C370S... see page 29 of the paper.

I must be SOOOO smart (4, Funny)

pr0t0 (216378) | about 2 months ago | (#46952161)

A single gene can boost IQ by six points? I've got something like 24,000 of them!

"boost"??? (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46951383)

How does something that's genetic "boost" anything? This is a gene, not a drug.

TL;DR, but I presume statistics (3, Insightful)

Orsmo (976) | about 2 months ago | (#46951437)

My guess would be that two groups, those that express the gene and those that do not have a 6 point difference in IQ on average, in favor of those with the gene.

Re:TL;DR, but I presume statistics (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46951485)

My point is that nobody's IQ has actually been boosted in the first place... things just start out that way and stay that way. "boosting" would imply that it could be changed from being lower to being higher.

Re:TL;DR, but I presume statistics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951543)

Your way isn't Journalism.

Re:TL;DR, but I presume statistics (1)

zlives (2009072) | about 2 months ago | (#46951701)

clearly an enhanced version of this technology was used in the K.I.T.T. program.
turbobooooooooost

Re:TL;DR, but I presume statistics (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#46952711)

Take a drub the changes the expression, and then you IQ would be boosted.

". things just start out that way and stay that way."
hmmmmm. maybe

Re:TL;DR, but I presume statistics (4, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 months ago | (#46952259)

My guess would be that two groups, those that express the gene and those that do not have a 6 point difference in IQ on average, in favor of those with the gene.

That is part of what they did. They looked at a group of 718 people, about 20% with the gene. Those with the gene scored, on average, 6 points higher. But they went further. They also inserted the gene into otherwise genetically identical mice, and the mice with the gene did significantly better on a range of cognitive tests.

Re:"boost"??? (3, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#46951531)

You're right. Lack of this gene depresses intelligence. Feel better?

Re:"boost"??? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46951667)

Not really... that's just another verb that still suggests it somehow can change within a given individual.

Re:"boost"??? (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#46951689)

Nothing implies a change in an individual. The difference is within a population.

Re:"boost"??? (0, Troll)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46951773)

Then all the gene does is determine a difference, its presence or absence doesn't actually "boost" or "depress" anything. It *determines* the existence of a higher IQ, it doesn't boost IQ at all.

Re:"boost"??? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951913)

Now that we've reasoned out how many teeth the horse has, how about you take a look at the article and realize where you went wrong.

Re:"boost"??? (2)

msauve (701917) | about 2 months ago | (#46951943)

It's dynamic within a population. If more members of the next generation have the gene, the intelligence of the population is boosted.

Re:"boost"??? (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 2 months ago | (#46952077)

Not really... that's just another verb that still suggests it somehow can change within a given individual.

How about this then: People who lack this gene on average, for a given population, are measured to have an IQ that is 6 points less than those who do.

I think that the reason why the word "boost" is used is because they are working on developing a gene therapy that would "boost" IQ in people who don't have the gene. In that context, it's perfectly acceptable.

Personally, I wouldn't sign up for the first version of such a drug as most IQ tests only measure certain skills such as memory, logical,and spacial thinking and then combine them into a single score. Very little artistic or humanistic traits are tested. So, while this gene may have an influence in higher IQ, it may also decrease some other trait that they didn't measure for.

Something about this strikes a chord.... Oh, right... Divergent....

Re:"boost"??? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 months ago | (#46951753)

Nonsense! It's intelligence that CREATES the gene.

Re:"boost"??? (3, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#46951691)

Also if it's the length of life, they took the wrong goddess, not Clotho but Lachesis is responsible for that.

Standard Deviation (2)

key134 (673907) | about 2 months ago | (#46951385)

Isn't the standard deviation of IQ 7 points? Is 6 points actually statistically significant?

Re:Standard Deviation (2)

hutsell (1228828) | about 2 months ago | (#46951515)

Isn't the standard deviation of IQ 7 points? Is 6 points actually statistically significant?

Additionally, a lot of people have mistakenly embraced these "IQ" tests to calculate a physical property in thinking the way a scale measures one's weight.. They're only a study indicating a comparative awareness of others within the same environment -- something the French social scientist that created it originally stressed when Americans were redefining its use.

Re:Standard Deviation (2)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 months ago | (#46951743)

Yes, but this shouldn't be an issue in this research, since they are comparing apples with apples, at least from my understanding.

Re:Standard Deviation (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#46951841)

According to various IQ tests, I'm smarter than Einstein.

IQ tests are bullshit. Mostly because you can easily train them and gain 20-30 "points" fairly easily. Especially if you start out fairly "intelligent" already (read: share the way of thinking and the train of logic of those that design these tests) because once you play in the 150+ league, what matters is concentration and speed. Finding the logical pattern quickly and then being able to track various variables at the same time is usually the key.

Re: Standard Deviation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952061)

So you sat down with a psychologist for two+ hours?

Those online tests are what are crap. And tests like the SAT, while they strongly correlate with IQ as more rigorously tested, are far easier to game with practice. Not so with a proper clinical test, which is far more reliable on an individual basis.

Re: Standard Deviation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952445)

Heheh, psychologists. "So (sniff) tell me about your father". Psychiatrists!?! Omg, that's the shizzle when it comes to real science!

Re: Standard Deviation (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#46952715)

It can take a bit more than two hours depending on the specific test, but yes. Quite a few times actually. It's turned into one of the odder hobbies of mine, it's like playing a game again and again for a better high score.

And nobody can tell me that my IQ improved by almost 40 points over the course of the past 20 years.

Re:Standard Deviation (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#46952755)

If you were smarter then Einstein then you would have figured out the he never took an IQ test.

Re:Standard Deviation (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951563)

Holy fucken shit.

Easy there fanboi, you might want to actually understand what those words mean before you start throwing them around.

Go google it and learn, because the simple fact you asked that question means you will not understand the answers, no and yes.

Re: Standard Deviation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951629)

You obviously do not have the gene.

Re:Standard Deviation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951677)

This^. Flamebail -1

Re:Standard Deviation (3, Informative)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 months ago | (#46951673)

The standard deviation is 15. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] . As for the statistical significance, not sure. IANAS, so I am not sure which formulas to best use to model it. According to TFA, their sample size is 718, of which 1/5 possess the gene, so intuitively I'd say that 6 points do seem significant.

Re:Standard Deviation (2)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | about 2 months ago | (#46951721)

That is my intuition anyway: if the SD of a single IQ measurement is 15, then the SD of the measurement on the population that possess the gene is 15/sqrt(718*1/5)=1.25. The SD of the measurement on the population without the gene is 15/sqrt(718*4/5)=0.63. The SD of the difference should be 1.25+0.62=1.88. So yes, 6 points is over 3-sigma. IANAS and I could be saying complete nonsense.

Re:Standard Deviation (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951781)

No, just so much no.

Please take a statistics course, it will help your understanding of many things greatly.

Re:Standard Deviation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952015)

Please, enlighten us with your knowledge rather than just plopping these pithy statements all over the thread.

Re:Standard Deviation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952139)

These RTFM types pretending to be knowledgeable by decree suck.

Re:Standard Deviation (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46952013)

Anything within a single standard deviation is rarely considered statistically significant unless the distribution is extremely flat.

In related news.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951399)

Most liberals have been found to be missing the KL-VS version of the gene.

Six whole points?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951401)

Big freaking whoop. A person's IQ score can vary more than that each day based on simple factors such as stress, fatigue, hunger, etc.

Re:Six whole points?! (4, Funny)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951589)

You're right. We're going to need a helluva lot more than 6 points to get people like you to understand the significance of raising the baseline.

Re:Six whole points?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951837)

Unfortunately for you, an increase of 6 points still won't get you out of the 2-digit IQ club.

Re:Six whole points?! (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#46951865)

And let's not forget the test itself and how it is made up. The order of the questions alone can already easily move that final score by more than those 6 points.

Re: Six whole points?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952045)

Bacon.

Re:Six whole points?! (3, Funny)

doti (966971) | about 2 months ago | (#46951997)

Yeah, but it's six points for a single gene.

If you buy 100 of those genes you get 600 points! You'll became a geneius.

Old age brings a decline? (1, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 2 months ago | (#46951443)

I work with people across the entire working-age spectrum who are blithering idiots so I don't think it's just age which reduces ones mental acuity.

Maybe this process can help them as well. Let's start with programmers followed by the executive staff for starters.

wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That is (0, Flamebait)

Cammi (1956130) | about 2 months ago | (#46951449)

wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That is so CUTE.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (2, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 2 months ago | (#46951487)

Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951595)

News Flash: Providing guidance to your penile "missile" doesn't make her a "pilot".

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951729)

Ordnance and planes aren't the only things that make loud wooshing noises.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951619)

Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

Being a lifeless vegetable from too many 'experiments' in life, doesn't make them a pilot, even if their mind is 'flying'.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#46952807)

No good, I've know too many pilots.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 months ago | (#46951587)

It's not really a myth, but using single number can be misleading.

Kind of like how that on average, a human being will have 1 testicle. It's stastically true, just not very useful.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#46951879)

Not only that, but the average child has fewer than two legs. Ain't that just sad?

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (5, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#46951641)

I love talking to people who are adamant that intelligence is not heritable, yet believe in evolution. When I ask how we evolved from presumably less intelligent ape-like ancestors without intelligence being heritable, I can almost see the gears grind to a halt.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (0)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951825)

Ah, so talking to stupid people who don't understand the word 'culture' makes you feel superior? Because you don't seem to understand it either.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#46952465)

So if human parents raised one of our chimp-like ancestors, he'd be just as smart as us?

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#46951923)

I don't really believe in evolution. It's just the only theory out there how human came into existence that doesn't resort to wizards in the sky working magic. If you have a better one, I'd like to hear it. Just leave wizards and wonders, dungeons and dragons, out of it.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#46952363)

no way.. that kind of creation myth sounds like great fun. that it also describes 'The Hobbit" is just a coincidence.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 months ago | (#46952369)

No doubt you're born with some talent for that just like for everything else, but just like you can choose to be a gym rat or couch potato with your body it's also whether you train to use your mind. They try to separate skill from innate intelligence but from what I've understand education changes the IQ score significantly and training for the tests even more so. The IQ tests were used as proof that some races were inferior until they started comparing people with the same access to education, then the differences pretty much vanished. So to someone that is struggling obviously they say you can make it, if they give up and say I'm dumb and I'll never learn and there's no point in trying they're surely achieve less than their potential.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 months ago | (#46952709)

Well that's easy to explain. The phrase "intelligence is not heritable" is a simplification of "the bulk of intelligence is not heritable and (barring serious medical genetic conditions) the environment has a much larger impact than the genes you inherit." The aspect of inherited intelligence is only visible and applicable when you have a large enough sample size that the environmental "noise" is averaged out and you can observe the evolutionary trend. To a lesser extent this also applies to muscles and health. If you sit around and each cheetoes all day it doesn't matter as much how your parents look. If you work your ass off as a lumberjack all day, even if your parents were spindly little things, you're going to get some muscle. But the muscle/build/health genes have a stronger impact than the intelligence genes when compared to environmental conditions.

And that leads to some awkward questions and alarming answers about how well different cultures and groups of people perform on IQ tests. But that is a seriously dark road to go down with sociological ramifications. Science doesn't happen in a vacuum and sometimes you don't want to stir up the hornets nest. There are things I'm just content to not pry into. Because hey, if two cultures faced similar sociological factors, they'd probably be the same culture now wouldn't they? This might just be one of those things that's unmeasurable.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46952753)

I love talking to people who are adamant that intelligence is not heritable

I love talking to people who have no clue what the OP said.

Hint: he said nothing about intelligence, and nothing about heritability.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1, Interesting)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#46951713)

Wow, people still want to pretend that a 'tard with a "mythical" IQ of 80 can someday become a rocket surgeon? That is so SCARY.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952201)

More like that IQ doesn't actually measure intelligence. People with high IQs are not necessarily intelligent, and people with low IQs are not necessarily unintelligent. I do not think intelligence is something that can be measured with such simplistic tests and then reported as a single number, especially when we don't even understand intelligence.

In fact, IQ was about measuring how well one would fit into the formal education environment, not about measuring intelligence. Despite all of these things, clueless morons continuously refer to IQ when they want to state how intelligent someone is.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46952515)

'tard with a "mythical" IQ of 80

I love posts like yours. Mental retardation is defined as an IQ of 70 or less.

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

pla (258480) | about 2 months ago | (#46952773)

I did say "mythical". ;)

Yes, good catch, kudos to you, mea culpa.

Though as an aside, you make my earlier point quite nicely - How, exactly, do we define a clinical term as having a certain score on a mythical scale?

/ Charisma as the dump stat, FTW!

Re:wow, people still believe in the IQ myth? That (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#46952791)

It's not a myth, no at all.
Misused and incorrectly presented by the media? yes..

What about Africans... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951541)

... are they lacking this gene?

Just asking. I know we aren't allowed to talk about it, and have to pretend that all races are just as intelligent as each other. It would be 'racist' to question 'diversity', wouldn't it...

Re: What about Africans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951657)

I don't know. However, it is almost certain that ignorant, backwoods, inbred, racist fuckwads are missing the gene.

Re: What about Africans... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46952637)

They thought it was ok to marry your sister as long as both of you have the KL-VS allele.

Re:What about Africans... (3, Insightful)

Suiggy (1544213) | about 2 months ago | (#46951807)

Look up the gene on open access GWAS databases and see for yourself.

Re:What about Africans... (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951849)

No, it's racist to think there are races when there clearly aren't.

Re:What about Africans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951979)

I think it's very likely that science will prove sub-Saharan Africans are missing some Neanderthal genes for intelligence or civilization. There are almost no ancient structures in African except in the north, where people have Neanderthal genes. There's only Great Zimbabwe, which was likely built by people that had mixed with Jews. Everywhere else in the world has many of these ancient structures.

The question is what then? Maybe a Gattaca world where children are genetically modified to improve genes, instead of being a dystopia, is actually the most fair world.

Re:What about Africans... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 2 months ago | (#46952617)

What about Africans ... are they lacking this gene?

What about people who are too stupid to understand that sub-Saharan Africa has a larger number of groups with significant population genetics differences than anywhere else? Oh, that's right, you just categorize them as dark skinned folks, as though that were a terribly significant genetic difference. Why not throw Australian Aborigines into that mix too, and ignore that they're the people who have the greatest genetic difference from most African groups.

Single Gene needs to step up his game (2)

OglinTatas (710589) | about 2 months ago | (#46951549)

Dial back the cologne a little.
Look women in the eye.
Learn to dance with confidence, even if it is only the white guy shuffle.

Sure some women dig a smart dude, but if that 6 points is a significant improvement for you maybe the women aren't into you for your brains.
Buy a pump.

SNP#? (4, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | about 2 months ago | (#46951605)

Am I understanding properly that the "KL-VS" variant of KLOTHO is Rs9536314 [snpedia.com] with genotype "T;T"?

Re:SNP#? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952247)

Based on the article's statement that KL-VS is present in about 1/5 of the population, then if it's the RS9536314 SNP then I would assume it would be the GT genotype. Based on the link you provided, TT is the most common genotype.

This is the highest IQ I have seen so far (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951681)

High Level High driving

IQ and genetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951697)

You will understand by this example :
IQ explained to dummies [youtube.com]

Re:IQ and genetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952241)

Thanks, now I get it. It's really simple when explained that way.

Drug... (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 2 months ago | (#46951751)

I am more interested in the testing of the hypothetical drug that duplicates the result of having the smart gene.

Note, I personally would hypothesize that such a drug would NOT work in adults, but instead would have to be given to children, something we are much less likely to agree to do. Mainly because I think intelligence has more to do with how your neurons are organized rather than what chemicals are in your blood.

Saweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951775)

Sign me up right away! I'm looking forward to having an I.Q. of 6.

So much for Nurture over Nature (1)

Suiggy (1544213) | about 2 months ago | (#46951785)

Regardless, the PC brigade will just put their thumbs in their ears as usual.

I don't understand why more scientists... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951799)

don't study Republican "brains" to look for differences between them and normal people. This gene difference would stand-out nicely in a comparison since you just know their kind doesn't have this gene.

Klotho? (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#46951869)

I'm already alive. How about something to curry favour with Lachesis or Atropos?

Here comes Leisha Camden. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46951895)

It will be convenient to not need to sleep.

So what is the downside? (1)

WoOS (28173) | about 2 months ago | (#46951899)

If all this gene achieved was less cardiovascular diseases and higher intelligence, we would (nearly) all have it by now due to selection. So the question is, what else does it do which counterweights this?

Re:So what is the downside? (4, Informative)

coinreturn (617535) | about 2 months ago | (#46952039)

If all this gene achieved was less cardiovascular diseases and higher intelligence, we would (nearly) all have it by now due to selection. So the question is, what else does it do which counterweights this?

Not really. Cardiovascular disease generally kills long after the age of reproduction. The number of people who would have been born if not for parental death by cardiovascular disease is likely pretty small. Also, those with higher intelligence tend to reproduce less.

Re:So what is the downside? (1)

Thomasje (709120) | about 2 months ago | (#46952687)

Also, those with higher intelligence tend to reproduce less.

That may be true today, but it clearly wasn't always (or mankind would be getting steadily dumber, and there is ample evidence to the contrary), and this is most likely a temporary situation. Right now, only the better-educated classes grasp just how tight the situation with the world's water, food, and energy resources has become, and they adjust their reproductive behavior accordingly, while the more ignorant parts of our species continue to pass on their increasingly unwarranted optimism to their many children. All it takes is a really major resource-scarcity-related disaster or war, and people's attitudes will change, even at the bottom... And once birthrates return to being largely independent of intelligence or education, the smarter ones will resume having their natural advantage in everyday life.

hmmmm (1)

xevioso (598654) | about 2 months ago | (#46951915)

Soooooo....are there any foods that have this protein?

No, just no... (1)

Conspicuous Coward (938979) | about 2 months ago | (#46952035)

If this result, just published in Cell Reports, is confirmed, KL-VS will be the most important genetic agent of non-pathological variation in intelligence yet discovered.

IQ != intelligence. If you want to study variations in IQ score, fine. Not saying it can't yeild interesting results. But can we please stop pretending that there is anything approaching a useful scientific definition of intelligence, nevermind one that reduces to a single number. That ways lies the kind of idiocy that will end up with people fucking up their kids genetic structure trying to engineer "intelligence" without even understanding what that is.

Steroids for your brain (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 2 months ago | (#46952047)

But it might be just as dangerous as the other kind.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952233)

Single Gene Can Boost IQ By Six Points --> Single Additional Gene Can Boost IQ By Six Points

Make that 2...no 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#46952253)

In that case, I would like to get 2 copies of that gene. Actually...while you are at it...can you make it 10?

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#46952455)

... United Nations health officials have organized an emergency relief effort to deliver IQ enhancing genes to Slashdot editorial staff.

Explain Flynn Effect then. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#46952541)

If a person who scores 100 in IQ test today, takes the one administered in 1950s, he/she would score 130. If today's test had been given to someone who scored 100 in 1930s, he/she would have scored 50 or 60. This is known as Flynn effect [wikipedia.org] .

Even if this allele was sweeping through the population for the last one hundred years, working its way to get "fixed", it would only explain a tiny fraction of the Flynn effect. What it really tells us something simple. It is exceedingly hard to come up with new original puzzles and tests. The whole population has been gaming the IQ tests for decades now. May be better nutrition, more familiarity with abstract symbols...

When they can't even explain Flynn Effect satisfactorily, take everything else based on IQ with a liberal pinch of salt.

Re:Explain Flynn Effect then. (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 months ago | (#46952699)

Your numbers are saying the person of average intillegence in 1930 would be in the bottom one or two percent today. While there have been increases in IQ, they have not been anywhere near that extreme. One or two points per decade, and the rate has been slowing for the past 30 years. Still significant, but nothing like what you are describing.

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