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Chinese Clinic Uses DNA Tests To Predict Kids' Talents 98

Death Metal writes with this excerpt from CNN: "About 30 children aged 3 to 12 years old and their parents are participating in a new program that uses DNA testing to identify genetic gifts and predict the future. ... The test is conducted by the Shanghai Biochip Corporation. Scientists claim a simple saliva swab collects as many as 10,000 cells that enable them to isolate eleven different genes. By taking a closer look at the genetic codes, they say they can extract information about a child's IQ, emotional control, focus, memory, athletic ability and more. For about $880, Chinese parents can sign their kids up for the test and five days of summer camp in Chongqing, where the children will be evaluated in various settings from sports to art. The scientific results, combined with observations by experts throughout the week, will be used to make recommendations to parents about what their child should pursue."
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Chinese Clinic Uses DNA Tests To Predict Kids' Talents

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  • by TheNarrator ( 200498 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @01:20AM (#29074131)
    Ok this sounds a bit like B.S. Besides, being more of a trans-humanist I look forward to a future where we can modify our bodies to posses any of the biochemical advantages that are today delivered by genetics. Look at something like Viagra. Before it came along people thought that not being able to get a stiffy was all in one's mind. Now anyone of any age can get one without having to read a ton of self-help books and years of Freudian psychoanalysis B.S. It will be hard for people to accept but the same thing will probably soon happen with athletic ability and intelligence. Soon the dream of everyone becoming what they dreamed of being but never had the natural ability to do will be realized. It will still take hard work, but at least it will be possible and those with genetic gifts will move up to an as yet undreamed of level of human potential.
  • It's a scam (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 15, 2009 @02:21AM (#29074341)

    Incidently, I am in Shanghai. And working in biology. I have heard of these clinics (there seem to be several), because they
    are picking up up young graduates from the Universities to do the work. They pay well (compared to what the graduates get when
    they do a postdoc), but obviously more money will disappear in the pockets of the managers/directors of said clinics.

    From a biological standpoint, the whole thing is a scam. Perhaps they can predict some things a little bit, but from what I have seen I think they just tell the people what they want to hear.

    Chinese easily fall for this kind of thing. Their (often only) child is their little emperor, and the newly rich (which are also still poorly educated) spend their whole income on them. Nevertheless, i guess it stimulates the economy, so we will be seeing this kind of things for a while (if you want to get rich quick and have no conscience, come to China!).

  • Re:Obvious bullshit (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 15, 2009 @03:14AM (#29074505)

    I agree that they probably will not (yet) have an idea over how the genes influence IQ, but that doesn't mean they can't correlate genes with IQ. In fact, it's already been done ... On average, Ashkenazi Jews and most Asians have higher IQs than non-Jewish Caucasians[1], and specific genes have been correlated with higher IQ. For instance The DTNBP1 and CHRM2 have already been studied[2]

    I could go on with more sources of other genes and relevant studies ...

    The hapmap project may be of interest:


  • Re:Pygmalion Effect (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pjt33 ( 739471 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @03:43AM (#29074621)

    The careers department at my school gave us all a questionnaire to fill out when we were 17. The results were pretty much exactly what I expected them to be, so it was a waste of time.

  • So.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @07:16AM (#29075227) Journal
    how do they handle things when you find out that you have the next Mao Zedong or Stalin?
  • by misexistentialist ( 1537887 ) on Saturday August 15, 2009 @08:33AM (#29075433)
    So are you a genius yet? Most people have inadequate memory and computational capacity to come even close to genius. And even if they did, they would still lack additional brain specializations like linguistic ability, spatial visualization, etc. that true genius requires. It's true that with time anyone can develop expertise--and this will put them above most of the rest of the lazy morons--but the average person still will be a golden retriever in comparison to exceptional individuals. I suspect that magazine using a weak definition of genius-- Bill Gates, for example, rather than Hegel.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner