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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Deemed Naughty by Nature


Nature editorial condemns research in cognitive genomics. A slight exaggeration, but consistent with the level of reporting in the accompanying article. (Click through and vote in their poll!)

I am quoted as follows:
After this summer's furore over Miller's interview [in Vice Magazine, of all places; Miller referred to Chinese embryo selection for "genius babies"], Hsu played down the potential for abuse. “There's a big gap between finding a few hits and finding thousands of hits — enough to predict the trait on the basis of the genotype — and we were never saying we were going to get to that point,” he says. But in 2011, before the uproar over the study, Hsu told Nature: “I'm 100% sure that a technology will eventually exist for people to evaluate their embryos or zygotes for quantitative traits, like height or intelligence. I don't see anything wrong with that.”
The first quote refers to the discovery power of our sample of 2000 gifted individuals. We would be quite happy to find even one genome-wide significant hit. The second quote refers to my prediction for what will be possible eventually (perhaps decades from now). Juxtaposing the quotes this way is deliberately misleading.

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