A Genetic Code for Genius?

A 20-year-old Chinese geneticist who has been dubbed the nation’s “Bill Gates” is three months away from releasing the results of a groundbreaking but controversial study to identify the genetics behind high IQ in humans. The Wall Street Journal reports on the fascinating career of Zhao Bowen, a child prodigy in charge of the cognitive genetics lab at BGI, a private company funded in part by the Chinese government. Zhao and his team are studying 2,200 DNA samples, most from extremely high-IQ American volunteers, and comparing them to other genetic samples from the rest of the population to find out which combinations are responsible for massive intellect. Some critics are wary of the findings being used to promote scientific racism, and while Zhao recognizes there are concerns, he’s moving forward. “People have chosen to ignore the genetics of intelligence for a long time,” Zhao told The Journal. “People believe it’s a controversial topic, especially in the West. That’s not the case in China.” [intro written by Carl Franzen of the Verge]

More info at the Wall Street Journal

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