Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Many Genes Linked to Left Handedness

Researchers have uncovered more than 40 genes associated with being left handed, Psychology Today reports.

An international team of researchers conducted a large genome-wide association study of handedness. As they describe in a preprint posted to BioRxiv, they used data from the UK Biobank, 23andMe and 32 studies from the International Handedness Consortium — a total 1.5 million right-handed, 194,198 left-handed, and 37,637 ambidextrous individuals — to find 41 genes linked to being left handed and seven genes linked to being ambidextrous.

Eight of these left-handed linked loci were also near genes involved in microtubule formation and regulation, and the researchers, who were led by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute's Sarah Medland, note that microtubule proteins are important for various key brain development processes and have been implicated in neuropsychiatric conditions. Additionally, they uncovered a link between left-handedness and the 17q21.31 locus, a region where a deletion has been tied to the intellectual disability and developmental delay syndrome Koolen de Vries.

"The study clearly shows that left-handedness is polygenic," Psychology Today notes. "The functional roles of the genes connected to left-handedness clearly show that it originates in the brain, not the hands itself."

The Scan

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.

Active Lifestyle Linked to Type 2 Diabetes Prevention in People at High Genetic Risk

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that an active lifestyle goes a long way in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Beneficial, Harmful Effects of Introgression Between Wild and Domesticated European Grapes

A paper in PNAS shows that European wild grapevines were an important resource for improving the flavor of cultivated wine grapes.

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.