Study: Genes Play Role in Education Attainment

May 12, 2016

A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, by a team of 253 scientists, identified 74 genetic variants that are associated with educational attainment. The researchers cautioned that the link was a small one, and that environmental factors were also at play. In a statement, Daniel Benjamin, corresponding author and an associate professor in the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California, said, "The very small effects of individual genetic variants is itself an important finding, which echoes what we've seen in our own earlier work. It means that simplistic interpretations of our results, such as calling them 'genes for education,' are totally misleading. At the same time, despite the small effects of individual genetic variants, the results are useful because we can learn a lot from studying the combined effects of the genetic variants taken all together."

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