What makes someone so gifted? Scientists look at DNA, unlock the talent gene

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(November 24, 2015) – As scientists fine tune their ability to examine the human genome, it’s no surprise they’ve discovered what they believe could be the true, talent gene.

Researchers from around the world, working collaboratively, identified a new area in human DNA, which is associated with talent.

They used a tool developed at the University of Michigan which allowed them to reanalyze gene samples from previous studies.  They picked out variations in the genes that they believe may increase an individual’s abilities in various art centered areas.

This new technology gives researchers a more detailed map of the genes, making it possible to know why some people are more talented than others.

At the Chongqing Children’s Palace, experts are hoping to use this kind of information to change child rearing.

Close to thirty children aged three to twelve years old and their parents are participating in a new program that uses DNA testing to identify genetic gifts.

The test is a simple swab of saliva, which collects as many as 10,000 cells.  Those cells allow scientists to isolate eleven different genes.  They then take a closer look at the genetic codes of the eleven.

This particular project is headed up by scientists with shanghai biochip corporation.

They say they can determine a child’s IQ, emotional control, focus, memory and athletic ability.

According to Chinese scientists, this saliva test is the first of its kind to help discover the natural talents of children.

Geneticist Dr. Luis Escobar, of Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, knows about the discoveries but takes a different approach.

“For a gene to work, you have to have other genes that make it work,” says Dr. Escobar.

Escobar believes that certain genes give a person a skill, not necessarily a talent. But he admits the research is fascinating.

“Geneticists are working with hearing loss.  I think in the future, we’ll be able to express genes that are dormant in deaf people to regain function.  So we won’t fix hearing loss by a hearing aid. We’re just going to inject cells that are expressing genes that will allow people to hear again,” says Dr. Escobar.

“There are genes, a combination of genes that provide you with the skills you need. But to be able to have those skills, you have to be able to express the genes. There are sequences that we have found that give you certain qualities or certain skills. That’s part of the evolutionary process.”

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