Scientists discover hundreds of new genes that may affect cognitive ability

Scientists analyzed almost a quarter million DNA samples in the UK Biobank and found 538 new genes that appear to have a role in intellectual capabilities.

Polygenic traits like brain function have previously been determined to have a significant heritable component, although it's still unclear exactly how much. The study also found that people with more of the polygenic intelligence genes also had parents who tended to live longer:

We find a novel genetic correlation between intelligence and parental longevity… This indicates that the polygenic load for greater intelligence is associated with greater longevity, using parental longevity as a proxy phenotype.

There's some unfortunate dumbed-down coverage of this that overstates the findings, but it is a remarkable breakthrough nonetheless.

A combined analysis of genetically correlated traits identifies 187 loci and a role for neurogenesis and myelination in intelligence (Nature via Newsweek)

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