Found: more than 500 genes that are linked to intelligence

Genes linked with problem solving powers were associated with the process by which neurons carry signals in the brain

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton, and Harvard University have compared variation in DNA in more than 240,000 people from around the world.

More than 500 genes associated with intelligence have been identified in the largest study of its kind.

The data comes from the health database called the UK Biobank.

Study leader Dr David Hill, also from the Centre for
Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology said: "Our study identified a large number of genes linked to intelligence".

Researchers were even able to predict intelligence just based on a person's DNA, a breakthrough which could potentially help doctors to diagnose impaired cognitive ability, or allow children to be given an tailor-made education based on their innate abilities.

Researchers have identified 538 genes that can influence how clever people are - and say they can be obtained using a simple mouth swab.

'We were also able to predict intelligence in another group using only their DNA'. Some of these genes are also linked to other biological processes, including living longer.

"We know that environments and genes both contribute to the differences we observe in people's intelligence", said Ian Deary, from University of Edinburgh. What this study adds it that health and intelligence are also linked.

SCIENTISTS can measure intelligence by testing saliva after showing for the first time that IQ can be predicted by studying their DNA.

People who expressed the genes were less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's, depression, schizophrenia and obesity.

Dr Hill said, '"We have shown is that two biological processes neurogenesis, the process by which new brain cells are created, and myelination of the central nervous system are associated with intelligence differences".

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