Navigation Links
Scientists Spot Genes Tied to Success at School, College
Date:5/30/2013

THURSDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Could the secret to educational achievement lie in a person's DNA? A major new study suggests that genes do play some role in how well an individual does at school.

The international team of researchers tested hundreds of thousands of genetic markers to track links between genetic variation and the level of education people achieved, including whether or not they graduated from college.

"We have now taken a small but important first step toward identifying the specific genetic variants that predict educational attainment," study co-author NYU sociologist Dalton Conley, a sociologist at New York University, said in a university news release.

Although they have not spotted an "education gene," he and his colleagues believe the findings could also shed light on certain memory and learning problems.

"We hope that our findings will eventually be useful for understanding biological processes underlying learning, memory, reading disabilities and cognitive decline in the elderly," said another co-author, Daniel Benjamin, a behavioral economist at Cornell and co-director of the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium.

The consortium's findings were the result of a genome-wide association study that pooled information form more than 125,000 people from the United States, Australia and 13 western European countries -- a total sample size more than 10 times larger than any previous genetic study of its kind.

Since the study included people from around the world, the researchers used a common measure of educational achievement, known as the International Standard Classification of Education scale, to analyze genetic variants called single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs -- tiny changes found at one location in a person's genetic code.

Analysis of over 2 million SNPs allowed the team to explain about 2 percent of the variation in educational achievement among the study's participants.

No one gene had a major impact on how far people went in school, however. The genetic markers identified as having the strongest effects on the level of education a person achieves could each only explain 0.02 percent or the variety between people, the team said.

That effect is minor compared with genes' effects on other developmental attributes. For example, a SNP is known to cause about 0.40 percent of the variation in height between different people, the researchers said.

The new study has much more power to spot genetic effects than prior efforts, the researchers added.

"Previous studies used far smaller samples, sometimes as small as 100 individuals and rarely more than 10,000. These small samples make sense under the assumption that individual genes have large effects. However, if genes have small effects, as our study shows, then sample sizes need to be very large to produce robust findings that will reliably replicate in other samples," David Cesarini, an NYU assistant professor at the Center for Experimental Social Science and the Center for Neuroeconomics, said in the news release.

The findings, published May 30 in the journal Science, do not suggest that a person's educational path is determined at birth, the team stressed.

Conley said that a person's genetics must work in the context of his or her environment, which is "modifiable." Now that certain genetic factors tied to education have been identified, "we can now begin to examine how other factors -- including public policy, parental roles and economic status -- dampen or amplify genetic effects and ultimately devise better remedies to bolster educational outcomes," he said.

The consortium includes researchers at NYU, Erasmus University, Cornell University, Harvard University, the University of Bristol, and the University of Queensland and other institutions.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on genetics.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: New York University, news release, May 30, 2013.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists solving the mystery of human consciousness
2. Scientists uncover multiple faces of deadly breast cancer
3. Scientists identify major source of cells defense against oxidative stress
4. Scientists tailor cell surface targeting system to hit organelle ZIP codes
5. Scientists rewrite rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study
6. Warwick scientists uncover how checkpoint proteins bind chromosomes
7. NIH scientists link quickly spreading gene to Asian MRSA epidemic
8. Joslin scientists identify important mechanism that affects the aging process
9. Scripps Research scientists show how memory B cells stay in class to fight different infections
10. Scientists Map Melanomas Genome
11. A*STAR scientists discover switch to boost anti-viral response to fight infectious diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists Spot Genes Tied to Success at School, College
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( ... today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The ... get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture ... , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Dr. Parsa Mohebi, the ... medical article to the newly revamped Cosmetic Town journal section, featuring ... transplant procedure known as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). , Dr. Mohebi ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading pediatric oncology experts ... Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology ... of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s National, and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... OnSite Wellness, has been named one of Michigan’s 2017 Best and Brightest in ... Best and Brightest in Wellness® awards program on Friday, Oct. 20 from 7:30 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early Signal Foundation announce a ... sensors for real-time monitoring of patients with trauma-related and ... focused on disruptive health solutions for rare disorders and ... record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, physiological and contextual data. ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced ... from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for ... for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid ... data are needed to further evaluate the safety of ... RA. "We ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. ... Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... partnership to offer a strategic hub service that expedites ... highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness ... A spirometer is a medical device used to measure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: