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Genes which make people intelligent have been discovered and scientists believe they could be manipulated to boost brain power.

Researchers have believed for some time that intellect is inherited with studies suggesting that up to 75 per cent of IQ is genetic, and the rest down to environmental factors such as schooling and friendship groups.

But until now, nobody has been able to pin-point exactly which genes are responsible for better memory, attention, processing speed or reasoning skills.

Now Imperial College London has found that two networks of genes determine whether people are intelligent or not-so-bright.

They liken the gene network to a football team. When all the players are in the right positions, the brain appears to function optimally, leading to clarity of thought and what we think of as quickness or cleverness.

However when the genes are mutated or in the wrong order, it can lead to dullness of thinking, or even serious cognitive impairments.

Scientists believe that there must be a ‘master switch’ regulating the networks and if they could find it, they could ‘switch on’ intelligence for everyone.

“We know that genetics plays a major role in intelligence but until now haven’t known which genes are relevant,” said Dr Michael Johnson, lead author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College.

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