Academically bright? Your genetics may have something to do with it, scientists say
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Researchers believe genetics may play a role in academic successes of students. A study has found DNA variants explain almost 10% of differences in academic achievement in 16-year-olds. The research shows that DNA on its own is better at predicting educational attainment than gender or “grit” – a personality trait thought to reflect perseverance and the ability to pursue long-term goals. Scientists looked at the influence of common genetic variants on GCSE results in maths and English in 5,825 unrelated people. For each person, they produced a “polygenic” genetic influence score based on 20,000 known DNA variants – single letter changes to the genetic code known as single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. Some SNPs were found to be more strongly associated with academic achievement than others. The findings from the Twins Early Development Study showed that students’ educational achievements were strongly influenced by DNA variants. On average, those with higher polygenic scores obtained A and B grades. Average results of students at the other end of the scale were a whole grade lower.
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