Longevity Briefs: There are at least 41 regions of DNA involved for left-handedness

Posted on 7 October 2020

Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: Handedness is preferential ability to use one hand over the other. It is extensively studied because of handedness involvement with language and left-handedness over-presentation in some neurological disorders. Hence, it is important to understand the biological origins of handedness.

What did the researchers do: In this article, researches have conducted a genome-wide association study of handedness of 1,766,671 individuals, among whom 194,198 were left-handed. They have used genetic data from UK Biobank, 23andMe and the International Handedness Consortium. It worth noting that this is currently the largest study on handedness.

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Researches have discovered that there are 41 regions of DNA are associated with left-handedness, rather than a single gene responsible for left-handedness. Also, they have found 7 regions associated with ambidexterity. It was concluded that left-handedness does not significantly genetically correlate with other (non-handedness) traits.

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