An Intelligence Gene? High IQ May Be in Our DNA


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Always been the smarty pants in your group?  Awww, SNAP!  Chances are, it’s in your DNA.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

A study of Dutch families (Gosso MF et al., 2006) found that Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) rs363050, located on the SNAP-25 gene is associated with “performance IQ” (i.e. non-verbal IQ).

Each copy of “A” at rs363050 in a person’s genotype increased the subjects’ performance IQ by an average of three points compared to those with no copies of “A”.The authors estimated that rs363050 accounts for 3.4% of the variation in performance IQ between people.

I learned this little tidbit while exploring my Health Traits on the 23andMe website.  A single user-posted question, “Is There Anyone Else with 2 Copies of the Gene for Intelligence?” sparked over 260 replies from users sharing their genotypes, those of their family members, as well as IQ scores, SAT/GRE scores, levels of degrees obtained, and much more to both support AND oppose the findings of this research.

When you get down to brass tacks, no one who fancies him/herself as intelligent wants to look at their own genotype & have it read otherwise … anymore than someone wants their Kindness Gene genotype to tell them they can’t be empathetic.

Of course for this and other similar discussions, there is the nature vs. nurture debate … it can be challenging to study heritability or genetic differences in intelligence due to the fact that it is difficult to rule out other factors such as environment and opportunities (Rowe et al., 1999; Turkheimer et al., 2003).

What are your thoughts re: intelligence and heritability vs. outside influences such as environment?

Have you been tested on 23andMe?  If yes, was your genotype what you expected?





Blow On: Look Fabulous in Under An Hour (No Shower Required!)

Truth – I hate showering.  Every time I tell someone this, they crack up.  It is hard to believe if you know me.  I like my hair and clothes to be neat all the time.  I’m just the right amount of matching without being too matchy-match.  But girly girls like me are looking at an hour commitment MINIMUM when it comes to showering and getting ready.  Sometimes the mere idea of it makes me pull the covers back over my head (still not kidding)

And recently, I discovered a lifesaver.  Nope, not dry shampoo (that’s another story) — the blow dry bar!  Now making their way across the US are these clever little shops which offer (you guessed it!) a shampoo and a fabulous blow dry.  That’s it!  No stranger’s newly-cut hair flying across the room at you or caustic chemical smells to contend with.  Just a relaxing shampoo following by a fabulous blow dry and style.  Oh, and a glass of wine or bubbly while you are gettin’ beautified!

There are two different options near me:

1) Drybar (founded by Ali Webb around 2009), which has salons in California, Arizona, New York, DC, Georgia, and Texas, recently opened a new location at Stanford Shopping Center.  It is so pretty inside!  The color scheme is white, gray, and buttercup yellow (Buttercup is also the name of their trademark yellow hairdryer and now available at Sephora!)

photo courtesy of Drybar

photo courtesy of Drybar

photo courtesy of Drybar

photo courtesy of Drybar

2)  Halo – a Bay Area outfit with 3 area locations founded by Los Altan Rosemary Camposano with the alluring tagline “Stop In. Float Out.”  I haven’t had the pleasure of trying one of Halo’s blowouts yet, but there Menlo Park location is basically within walking distance of my house.  It’s on my list!

photo courtesy of Halo

photo courtesy of Halo

For ladies that have neither the time nor the money for a full spa day, $35 and 45 minutes to an hour of your time, you can walk out looking fabulous and feeling great.  One of the receptionists at Drybar let me know that they often have Groupon offers, and I managed to snag one for a $17 special.

This video will have you running to your nearest location!

Have you been to a blow dry bar?  Did you leave feeling amazing?  Tell me about it below!


What’s Past the Comfort Zone?

I’m not going to lie to you … accomplishing your fitness goals is not always a piece of cake.  In fact, it is HARD WORK!

The last few weeks have been super challenging for me.  In addition to moving to a new home, I started working in the office three days a week.  I quickly saw how easy it was to fall back into my old rut of putting my self-care LAST on the priority list.  As a result, my body has been feeling worn down and I can’t seem to get enough rest.

Luckily, I realized this very quickly and started to correct my lazy behaviors.  I firmly believe in practicing what I preach.  If I’m going to motivate and inspire others to take care of themselves, then I have to do the same.

Thanks to the Sexy September Challenge we’re doing this month, I’m lucky enough to have others inspiring me too!  I had a really good run on Tuesday.  Instead of my usual 3.5 mile loop of the Stanford Dish Trail, I decided to take a different route that added another two miles.  During the run, I felt like I was so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn’t see it anymore!  The good (and awfully painful) thing about this particular trail is that once you start the loop, you HAVE to finish it.  It was hilly and the 6pm sun was a menace, but I felt SO good when I was done.  Its the longest run that I have ever done … maybe ever!

I think you have to push past your comfort zone to see what you are made of.  To truly know that you CAN accomplish your goals, despite all of the hurdles in the way.  This is true in fitness, and in life.  Once you see what you can do, nothing can stop you!

Stay in touch on the Wellness Science Facebook page to be inspired & inspire others for the rest of Sexy September!

I love comments & questions, so keep them coming!



Prevention is Powerful Medicine

Earlier this year, I attended the Personalized Medicine World Conference in Mountain View, CA.  One of the speakers started out his presentation posing several questions to the audience:

“How many of you are physicians?
How many of you are scientists?
How many of you are venture capitalists?”

Several hands went up after each question was posted.  His last question to us was, “How many of you are patients?”  At that point, EVERY hand in the room was raised.  That was the single commonality among each of us in that room, and that is something that binds each and every one of US together.  What a powerful message he was bringing to us!

As a collective of patients, we had become a community of healthcare consumers where we could share and discuss our opinions and experiences about disease, about health and wellness, about traditional versus alternative care.

When it boils down to it, no one is more invested in our own health and wellness than we are ourselves.  Our health care providers, our friends, and our families care for us and want us to be healthy.  But it is up to each one of us to stay that way, and we have choices.  Educate yourself, practice prevention, and live a happier, healthier life!