Flip The Intelligence Switch

A day of calm and relaxation and a little reflection on the past year….no resolution which I feel are useless and a waste of time and energy……

It is official now…..an election year….oh goody….so let’s talk about something other than that…..OK?

Would you like to be smarter?  I would like it….but there is a way to do it without messing around with Mother Nature…….but scientist have been working on a way to increase one’s intelligence……

Researchers from London’s Imperial College think they’ve found two networks of genes, possibly controlled by a master system, that control cognitive functions—a find that may allow them to modify human intelligence down the line, the Guardian reports. In a study published in Nature Neuroscience, scientists say these M1 and M3 clusters control cognitive functions such as memory, attention, and reasoning, per the Daily Express. “Traits such as intelligence are governed by large groups of [genes] working together—like a football team made up of players in different [positions],” study co-author Dr. Michael Johnson says, per the Guardian. By figuring out how these “players” work together, scientists could perhaps boost cognitive abilities by simply flicking the equivalent of a master switch. And based on other findings in the study linking mutations of those same genes to cognitive impairments, research in this area may be lead to treatment of cognitive issues that accompany neurodevelopmental diseases such as epilepsy, Dr. Johnson notes, per the Guardian.

Researchers analyzed “huge sets of data” taken from samples of mouse and human brains, the paper notes, as well as info from a previous health study and genetic data from volunteers (both healthy ones and those with autism and other intellectual disabilities) who took IQ tests. Not only did they find evidence for the disparate gene networks—they also found that the same genes that apparently contribute to the intelligence of healthy subjects damaged cognitive abilities if they were mutated. “Eventually we hope that this sort of analysis will provide new insights into better treatments for neurodevelopmental disease … and ameliorate or treat the cognitive impairments associated with these devastating diseases,” Johnson says. Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of flipping a switch to play around with intelligence functioning. “Genetics is the science of inheritance, not pre-determinism, and there is no substitute for hard work and application,” a University of Kent genetics professor tells the Express.

Every time I read something on genetic manipulation (some call it research) I always think of Khan of Star Trek fame…..

Whatcha ya think?