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About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA 227

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-the-cards dept.
Taco Cowboy writes with this story about new research that finds a strong genetic component to a child's ability in math and reading. "You may think you're better at reading than you are at math (or vice versa), but new research suggests you're probably equally good (or bad) at both. The reason: The genes that determine a person's ability to tackle one subject influence their aptitude at the other, accounting for about half of a person's overall ability. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, used nearly 1,500 pairs of 12-year-old twins to tease apart the effects of genetic inheritance and environmental variables on math and reading ability. The researchers administered a set of math and verbal tests to the children and then compared the performance of different sets of twins. They found that the twins' scores — no matter if they were high or low — were twice as similar among pairs of identical twins as among pairs of fraternal twins. The results indicated that approximately half of the children's math and reading ability stemmed from their genetic makeup.

A complementary analysis of unrelated kids corroborated this conclusion — strangers with equivalent academic abilities shared genetic similarities. What's more, the genes responsible for math and reading ability appear to be numerous and interconnected, not specifically targeted toward one set of skills. These so-called 'generalist genes' act in concert to determine a child's aptitude across multiple disciplines. The finding that one's propensities for math and reading go hand in hand may come as a surprise to many, but it shouldn't. People often feel that they possess skills in only one area simply because they perform slightly worse in the other."

Comment: Re:*Yawn* (Score 1) 119

Actually, I did. Point being that you could fill the tank very quickly (and still can) and that tank can be filled anywhere even in BFE with a spare gas can. Oh, and if you don't use it for a few months to a several years, the tank is still full. Try to remember that most people don't use their cars to commute 15 minutes to work and back home every day. Try to remember that most people don't live within 5 miles of everything they need to get to. Try to remember that most people don't want to live in a huge city packed in like cattle.

Comment: Two questions (Score 1) 162

A) Why didn't Bose sue Beats BEFORE Apple bought them? That makes this case sound much more about targeting a cash hoard than anything else.
2) Why didn't Apple buy Bose? Aside from the obvious answer that Apple bought branding instead of technology, Bose surely must have something Apple would want. If not, then the Beats acquisition is only about image which doesn't make much sense given that Apple has been pretty good at creating their own image over the last 10+ years.

Comment: Time delay (Score 1) 95

by RogueWarrior65 (#47520287) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

So let's assume the premise of these proposed observations and let's assume that we actually find a planet with a high pollution content and let's further assume that we're only able to detect the type of pollution that can never be created from some naturally occurring process e.g. don't look at Venus and assume that it was once a beautiful place until acid rain formed. Such a planet will be quite a few light years away, perhaps hundreds. So what we would be looking at is the pollution from a hundred years ago. If this civilized planet is smart enough to fix it, they are more advanced than we are. But we may never know. The EPA was created 44 years ago and many people think this planet is more polluted than ever. We might have to stare at said distant polluted planet for more than 50 years to find out if they fixed it. Then again, if the atmosphere clears up in a year or two, then they either are even more advanced than we are or they destroyed themselves and their planet healed itself. Or maybe the indigenous population actually exists because it's polluted by human standards. Or this whole thing may mean nothing.

Comment: Re:So what's the best way to do video on the web? (Score 1) 194

by RogueWarrior65 (#47518783) Attached to: Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

Not exactly a valid assumption. Government users tend to use IE primarily because they have to access other government sites that were built by the lowest bidder who often only work on Windows and only works on IE. Hell, while most of the world uses Acrobat for forms, the feds contracted with IBM to build some IT stuff and they're using this goofy holdover from their acquisition of Lotus.

Comment: So what's the best way to do video on the web? (Score 2) 194

by RogueWarrior65 (#47515241) Attached to: Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

Serious question: What's the best way to handle video on the web given a few requirements? First, the content needs to be hosted on the same site as the website. Why? Because sites like Youtube and Vimeo have control over it. They can unilaterally decide to take something down. They will also present related video. For someone trying to market product, you shouldn't make it easy for a prospective customer to find your competitors. Second, the video has to work on both Macs and PCs. Third, the video has to work on Internet Explorer as early as v.8 because too many users don't know any better.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce