Not long ago, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh, the statistical geneticist W. David Hill, who published a research paper in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, said they had found 149 income-related gene sites. They even say their findings suggest that genetic effects may have contributed to some socio-economic inequalities in modern Britain. With the help of Nature Communications, it quickly detonated social media abroad.
“Find the gene to make money?” “The rich and the poor are doomed? “And so on, the doubts linger in the minds of many people.
Let’s first look at how Hill’s research is done and what we found.
The first page of the paper (more than 60,000 people have downloaded the paper, it seems that we still want to know their own financial luck)
There is a saying, “Dragon dragon phoenix, mouse son will make holes.”
This suggests that genetics was observed before the discovery of the genetic law.
The development of modern molecular biology has made scientists realize that genes are carriers of genetic information. With the advance of sequencing technology, more and more scientists began to explore the relationship between basic physiological characteristics and health and disease.
Based on these studies, scientists have discovered many genes associated with being tall and thin. Another important result of the study is the discovery of many disease-related genes, such as cancer-related BRCA genes, and many genes that cause single-gene genetic diseases.
So is it possible that a person’s socioeconomic status is also affected by genetics? That’s what Hill and his team are thinking about.
This image was posted by angelo luca iannaccone on Pixabay
Hill et al. conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on the genetic data and household income of 286,301 subjects (aged 39-73) in the UK biosample library, and found 30 independent gene sites related to household income, 29 of which were the first to be found. Using another method of analysis, they found 120 sites related to household income.
From the distribution of these sites, 47% were in the inclusion region, 29% in the intake of non-coding RNA, 17% in the region between genes, and only 1.2% in the epigenetics of the gene. It is explained that most of the gene sites associated with income play a role by regulating gene expression.
Of the 30 individual gene sites, 18 were associated with intelligence (cognitive ability or cognitive function). As a result, the researchers speculate, there may be a chain of causation between genetic variation and intelligence and income. Of course, they confirmed the existence of causation evidence through Mendel randomization analysis, but they also believe that the real relationship may be more complex than they thought.
The research process
So what does these 149 gene sites really mean? What is the impact on income?
Hill et al. found that the impact on household incomes was only 7.39 per cent, based on the sites they found in the UK’s biosample library.
“As we expected, the main reason for the difference in household income is not genetics. “The Hill team says in the q and A annex published in the paper, “Our view is that the main reason is likely to be the environment, such as social environment, economic policy, and even luck.” “
But the researchers also say that while they found that genetics has little effect on household income, the small effects are real. In fact, a previous study of 100,000 Britons also found that household income was genetic at around 11 per cent, but they only found two related sites.
Distribution of relevant gene sites on chromosomes
In this study, they also designed a multigene risk assessment model based on the above income-related sites. Used to predict household income between different groups. As a result, they found that their model could only be used to predict a 1.2% to 2% difference in household income.
What does that mean?
The big story is that if the odd spot reader earns 1 million a year, you’ll earn up to $20,000 of the $1 million you’ve earned in 2019 and the genetic sites above.
If it’s divided into each gene site, it’s probably only about 100 yuan.
No wonder the authors have repeatedly stated in Q and A that we really don’t find the “income gene” or “money gene”, and in fact, there is no “money gene” at all. I think Hill and others are right, which millions of people a year take $100 seriously.
Not only that, Hill et al. say, they didn’t do any application-related tests in their research, and in fact, they didn’t advocate any practical application based on their research. This is just a basic study, and some interesting relationships have been found between some variables.
Still, the Hill team’s research has been criticized by academics. Most people agree that household income is not suitable for genome-wide association studies, unlike height, fatweight, and health.
Some even quipped, “There must be Carrefour Genes in this world, ‘Walmart Genes’, ‘Apple Genes’, ‘Huawei Genes’ and so on.” “
That’s too much.
To be fair, as a living body, i am afraid that there are no traits or behaviors that are genetically related throughout our life and death.
In fact, a study of twins this year also found that income is related to genetics, which can even affect income by 40%-50%. Of course, the whole study analyzed not certain gene sites, but the overall analysis of the relationship between genetics and income.
In other words, on the whole, the impact of genetics on income is really not to be underestimated. It’s just that when you’re putting this effect on a specific genetic site, it’s insignificant.
In general, most scientists have criticized Hill’s research, mainly because of concerns that it could lead to misunderstandings and lead to a “genetic determinism” of income.
This is certainly not what the Hill team wants to see. However, I’m sure you certainly wouldn’t think that 2% of your income determines your socioeconomic status.
Finally, if you see a “genetic test prediction” scammer later, you should know what to do.