Intelligence genes have been identified
"Nothing in the world is as equitably distributed as the mind. Because everyone is convinced that he has enough of it, "recognized the French philosopher, mathematician and scientist René Descartes. From a genetic point of view, the distribution does not seem quite so fair. A recent study shows that people's brain performance is genetically determined. The researchers were able to identify a group of genes that regulate cognitive abilities.
Is it possible to create a superintelligent human by influencing the genes? The basis for this was recently achieved by an Austrian research team from the Medical University of Innsbruck. The researchers found out why some people are smarter than others. The reason lies in the genes. For the first time, the genes responsible for human intelligence have been identified. The research results were recently published in the renowned journal "Plos genetics".
There is no single intelligence gene
"We know that there is not a so-called intelligence gene, but that many genes each make small contributions," says the director of the Joint Neuroscience Center Georg Dechant in a press release on the study results. This research made a major contribution to the basic understanding of intelligence, about whose genetic basis was previously little known.
A group of proteins regulates brain performance
As the study shows, a group of proteins in the nucleus regulates cognitive abilities. A key role plays a protein called SATB2. This protein binds to the genetic material DNA and thus determines the unfolding. This also explains why people with a mutation in this gene develop mental disabilities and learning disabilities. "Using modern biochemical methods, we have now identified a group of proteins that work with SATB2 in neurons of the cerebrum," adds study author Galina Apostolova.
Now comes a new generation of hyper-intelligent?
In the research, the study team clearly stated that certain variants of the identified genes are associated with differences in human intelligence. This basic research contributes to a better understanding of the higher brain functions. However, an overly intelligent design person is not to be expected in the near future, because according to the current state of science, these genes are only conditionally influenced. "Because so many genes are involved, it seems impossible to manipulate intelligence at the molecular level," emphasizes Georg Dechant.
New treatments for psychiatric and neurological diseases
"Our findings are important in any case for the development of new therapies for psychiatric or neurological diseases," said Dechant. In such diseases, there is often an impairment of cognitive performance. The study results are thus of particular importance for the field of so-called molecular psychiatry. (Vb)