Re: An IQ Gene

Anders Sandberg (
14 May 1998 18:56:22 +0200

John K Clark <> writes:

> As I said the marker he
> used is just junk DNA but it's in the middle of a gene called IGF2, this
> might be the IQ gene or it might be another gene very close to it. IGF2 codes
> for a protein with the sexy name "Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2".

Aha, that makes a certain amount of sense. It could be a growth factor
affecting among other things neural tissue (I seem to recall that the
IGF family acts as local growth factors, released (or identical to?)
the somatomedins).

> Not much is
> known about this hormone but interestingly another scientist Dr. Randy Jirtle
> has independently studied it for years and has had a suspicion it's involved
> in the metabolism of the brain, he thinks a link to IQ is plausible.
> Dr. Plomin says there are probably about 50 genes responsible for the
> difference between the 100 IQ kids and the 160 IQ kids in his study, this is
> just the first. He also said that he doubted that any one kid had all 50
> genes.

The question is how they interact. I wouldn't be the least surprised
if having all of them would be bad due to nonlinear interactions. For
example, one could promote one beneficial neural growth process and
another for another process, but these two processes interfere
slightly. Mapping these interactions is an interesting problem.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y