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China Biotech Science

Genome Researchers Wants Your Genes 165

An anonymous reader writes "The Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) is looking for smart volunteers to donate their genes for analysis. They are seeking subjects with high intelligence; you can only qualify if you got a high score in SAT/ACT/GRE or got awards in competitions like Math/Physics Olympiads or TopCoder. They're also launching a drive to recruit US participants. Their first stop (PDF) appears to have been Google, which has run into trouble with the Chinese government. Also worth noting: BGI is registered in China as an 'Institutional Organization,' which by law requires it to report to a supervising governmental office or agency."
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Genome Researchers Wants Your Genes

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  • by Soralin ( 2437154 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @05:24PM (#37156554)

    They'll engineer super-soldiers to be so smart that they'll end up resolving conflicts through rational discussion rather than violence.

  • by sydneyfong ( 410107 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @06:18PM (#37156862) Homepage Journal

    All you people need to RTFM (and click the FAQ): []

    What is intelligence?

    No one knows precisely what intelligence is, and even experts disagree as to how it should be defined. However, it has been known for over a century that performance on different cognitive tests is positively correlated: for example, someone who is good at math puzzles is also more likely to have an above average vocabulary. Given a battery of tests and their correlation matrix, one can use probability theory to define a single parameter that, in a sense, optimally compresses the information from administering them all.

    In practice, a wide range of intuitively sensible test batteries and functions of their score vectors yield very similar estimates of this parameter. As a result, psychologists consider these functions of test batteries to all be reasonable estimators of a parameter called the General Factor of Intelligence, or g for short.

    From the use of phrases like "intuitively sensible", it should be clear that the definition of g is a little bit arbitrary. However, we believe that it's the most promising metric to base an intelligence GWAS on. The most important properties of g are:

    stability (scores tend not to vary significantly after adolescence),
    heritability (twin and adoption studies suggest that much of the variance in g is due to genetics), and
    predictive power (g scores are correlated with academic and job performance, income, longevity, etc., even after controlling for other variables such as social class).

    At least they know their results have limited scope.

  • by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 ) on Saturday August 20, 2011 @06:25PM (#37156898) Homepage

    No, the fact that they're limiting their selection means that they are looking for a specific link between high standardized test scores/academic achievement and the inability to recognize people by face []. No one is apparently bothering to read the first paragraph on that web page.

    We are recruiting subjects for a Genome Wide Association Study of intelligence. Our study of prosopagnosia has not yet begun; if you wish to learn more about this condition, please visit

MESSAGE ACKNOWLEDGED -- The Pershing II missiles have been launched.