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We are now subject to a steady flow of news about decoding the human genome and its 100,000 genes. Kevin Davies recommends Matt Ridley as a guide through the maze

By Kevin Davies   January 2000

The cover of a recent issue of Time featured an infant clutching a model of the double helix, under the headline: “The IQ Gene?” The magazine reported that Joe Tsien, a professor at Princeton, had engineered a strain of super-intelligent mice, simply by inserting a few extra copies of a single gene (which carries the code for a key protein involved in transmitting chemical signals between neurons in the brain). Employing a battery of psychological tests appropriately adapted to mice-finding hidden platforms in water tanks, sniffing out unfamiliar objects in cages, and so on-Tsien recognised that his genetically modified mice…

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