6.5 C
New York
Saturday, May 28, 2022

A neuronal gene mutation causes higher IQ in humans – study finds

Must Read

More Evidence Floating Life Thrives on the Ocean Garbage Patch

The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is home to the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch,' a diffuse haze of...

Clues What Makes Our Brain ‘Ready to Learn’ New Things

People learn to identify familiar items like a "dog" and a "chair" even before they enter a...

New Research Reveals a Secret Behind the birth of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in Hawaii

Scientists have discovered an extraordinarily deep (>90 km) magma chamber in Hawaii that keeps Hawaii's volcanoes active.
Aakash Molpariya
Aakash started in Nov 2018 as a writer at Revyuh.com. Since joining, as writer, he is mainly responsible for Software, Science, programming, system administration and the Technology ecosystem, but due to his versatility he is used for everything possible. He writes about topics ranging from AI to hardware to games, stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. He is a trained IT systems engineer and has studied computer science. By the way, he is enthusiastic about his own small projects in game development, hardware-handicraft, digital art, gaming and music. Email: aakash (at) revyuh (dot) com

Mutations in genes can cause devastating effects on the neurological system. Using fruit flies, researchers have shown for the first time how a DNA mutation can have a positive influence on human intelligence—namely, a higher IQ in humans.

Synapses are the locations in the brain where nerve cells communicate with one another. Because changed synaptic proteins, for example, might hamper this complicated chemical pathway, disruptions in this communication lead to nervous system illnesses. This can cause modest symptoms as well as serious disability in those who are affected.

Professor Tobias Langenhan and Professor Manfred Heckmann of Leipzig and Würzburg, respectively, became interested in a mutation that damages a synaptic protein after reading about it in a scientific journal. The affected patients initially drew investigators’ notice since the disease rendered them blind. Doctors later discovered that the patients were also intellectually above average.

According to the authors, “it’s very rare for a mutation to lead to improvement rather than loss of function.”

For many years, two neurobiologists from Leipzig and Würzburg have used fruit flies to study synaptic activities.

This “project was designed to insert the patients’ mutation into the corresponding gene in the fly and use techniques such as electrophysiology to test what then happens to the synapses,” says Langenhan, adding, “It was our assumption that the mutation makes patients so clever because it improves communication between the neurons which involve the injured protein. Of course, you can’t conduct these measurements on the synapses in the brains of human patients. You have to use animal models for that.”

First, the scientists demonstrated that the fly protein RIM is molecularly identical to that of humans, in collaboration with Oxford academics. This was necessary in order to observe changes in the human brain on the fly. The neurobiologists then implanted mutations into the fly genome that were identical to those found in ill individuals. They then measured synaptic activity electrophysiologically.

They found “that the animals with the mutation showed a much increased transmission of information at the synapses. This amazing effect on the fly synapses is probably found in the same or a similar way in human patients, and could explain their increased cognitive performance, but also their blindness.”

The scientists also discovered how greater transmission at synapses occurs: the mutation effect causes the chemical components in the transmitting nerve cell that trigger synaptic impulses to shift closer together, resulting in a higher release of neurotransmitters.

Image Credit: Getty

You were reading: A neuronal gene mutation causes higher IQ in humans – study finds

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -