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Tuesday 25th October 2016

New proof that genetics affect intelligence

19th December 2013

Scientists recently carried out academic research on the core GCSE subjects of identical and non-identical 16-year-old twins in the UK.

The team from King’s College London found, on average, genes explain almost 60% of the differences between individuals at the moment. The study of more than 11,000 identical twins was based on GCSE scores in core subjects such as Maths, English and Science. The unique environmental factors, including schools and families, accounted for 36% of the differences.

Dr Simon Underdown, principal lecturer in biological anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, said the results must be treated with caution.

"While the genetic influence is slightly more than 50% that still leaves a massive role for environmental factors." 

He also said that "complex traits like intelligence are not the product of one or two simple genes". Rather it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors and that the "nature-nurture debate is not over yet".

The research has helped scientists acknowledge the importnace of genetics in children’s education and how we can adapt to suit individual needs.

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