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Not Quite the Ivy League Gene

While a new study has found that a person's chances of getting into a respected university is partially heritable, it did not find that a genetic test could predict what school someone might attend, New Scientist reports.

A King's College London-led team of researchers analyzed university success among 3,000 people who undergone genotyping as well as 3,000 twin pairs. As they report in Scientific Reports this week, the researchers found additive genetic influence on university entrance exams, enrollment, school quality, and achievement. They also report that a genome-wide polygenic score predicts about 5 percent of the variance in each university success variable.

As New Scientist notes, this doesn't mean that individuals' academic success solely derives from their genes — there's still a role for the environment. "That could include how much encouragement children get from their family and friends, whether their parents went to university, family wealth, and the quality of teaching at their school," it adds. "Governments can help level the playing field, for example by funding early-years education so children from poorer households don't start school behind."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.