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Genetics Tied to Intelligence  

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nearly 50 percent of human intelligence can be explained by genetics, according to a new study.

In a genome-wide analysis of 3,511 unrelated adults, researchers scanned data on nearly 550,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and found that small contributions from a variety of genes may explain intelligence.

HealthDay reports that the study, that appears in the Aug. 12 issue of Molecular Psychiatry, tested participants for two types of intelligence: knowledge and problem solving.

Researchers analyzed SNPs -- one-letter changes in a DNA sequence that account for 90 percent of human genetic variations, according to the Human Genome Project.

Scientists found that 40 to 50 percent of gene variations relating to knowledge and problem solving came from genetic differences

While the research indicates genes influence intelligence, researchers caution using genetics solely to determine intellect, as both nature and nurture play a role.

Research was conducted by Ian Deary, Ph.D., MBChB, professor of differential psychology at University of Edinburgh in Edinburgh, Scotland, and by Peter Visscher, Ph.D., a professor of statistical genetics at Queensland’s Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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