Intelligence can be defined as the general cognitive problem-solving skills embedded in the nature of a person. These skills are applied in calculation, reasoning, learning, and the perception of different phenomena including relationships. Albert Einstein was considered as one of the most brilliant minds in the universe due to his IQ score of 160. According to him, the true sign of intelligence is not the measure of what one knows, but rather, their imagination.
Given the fact that scientists have spent eons studying about intelligence, not much has been discovered that has been beyond the realm of imagination. New findings, however, suggest that one’s intelligence may be coded in their DNA. There have been discoveries to suggest that genes play a crucial role in the development of certain traits with intelligence being the focal subject.
Just last year, there were 52 genes known to directly influence intelligence levels from one person to the next. Of these discoveries, 40 of them were recent ones. Surprisingly enough, it was found that people who possess these intelligence traits are likely to be tall, thin and non-smokers.
For scientists, such findings present a gold mine of an opportunity to delve deeper into the drivers of intelligence in humans. Understanding this could help them map out the brain better and unlock the attributes necessary for one to be termed as having a high IQ.
Today, we are all well-versed in the nuances of modern television dramas and thrillers. There are an assortment of TV shows that show investigators getting to crime scenes and taking blood swabs. If recent findings are anything to go by, a swab of blood cannot only show DNA but also the intelligence levels of individuals.
With such findings, we’re certain there’s a TV show being prepped up at present with a script around crime solving using IQ tests of individuals. Sounds amazing, right? Not to everyone at least. Why? We’re certain if such information was available at our disposal, catching criminal minds like Michael Scofield in Prison Break would have been a breeze for investigators. Then, we wouldn’t have been as enthralled by the show as we are.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Harvard University have traced numerous new genes that are now being linked to brainpower. Previously, studies on intelligence posited that 50%-75% of intelligence was inherited whilst the rest depended heavily on nature and nurture. These figures were obtained after keen analysis on identical twins with unmistakable DNA. The variances in IQ levels between identical twins must then be caused by non-genetic influences.
Studies conducted by the researchers on more than 240,000 people were able to unearth 538 genes that could all be linked to intelligence. Such findings present a new frontier in the development of an education system tailored to meet the specific demands of individuals. In hospitals, doctors would also have an upper hand in making the right diagnosis on patients with impaired cognitive ability. Treating them would be so much easier!
The DNA studies were also able to create a correlation between the intelligence genes and the lifespans of individuals. Biologically, intelligent people are fitter. The intelligent are likely to be great problem-solvers due to enhanced rates at which neurons are able to carry signals from one point to another in the brain.
The findings were also able to demonstrate that the super intelligent had a lower chance to acquire Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, obesity/high body mass index, and depression. This was because people who had the intelligence genes demonstrated negative effects to the acquisition of the aforementioned ailments and traits.
In future, more research is likely to be done in this field in order to fully ascertain that the exact roles genes play in our lives, not just from an intelligence perspective. With such knowledge, we can ably change the way we lead our lives since we will then be able to have an almost absolute understanding of how humans are influenced by various phenomena. It almost sounds like something from a science fiction movie. Truth is at times stranger than fiction.