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The quest for quantitative trait loci associated with intelligence

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

R Plomin, J K J Kennedy, I W Craig

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513 - 526
Number of pages14
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

King's Authors


Progress towards identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for complex traits like intelligence and common disorders like mental retardation has been slower than expected. An important factor is that most QTL effects may be much smaller than expected-not just 1% effect sizes but perhaps effects as small as M. If so, this would mean that studies have been seriously underpowered to detect and to replicate QTL effects. We have used microarrays to genotype DNA pooled for groups of low versus high intelligence in order to screen very large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on very large samples in the quest for QTLs of very small effect size: We find no effect sizes greater than .5%. Microarrays with 500,000 SNPs are now available that facilitate genomewide scans which will make it possible to identify nearly all SNP associations that account for 1% of the valiance of intelligence-if there are any QTL effect sizes as large as 1%. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

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