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Scientists discover 1,000 new genes associated with intelligence

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In a remarkable discovery, scientists have identified a whopping 1,016 specific genes associated with intelligence, many of which were hitherto unknown to science.

The study was headed by statistical geneticist Danielle Posthuma at Amsterdam’s Free University in the Netherlands. The international team conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of almost 270,000 participants – with some very fruitful results.

The large-scale study led to the unearthing of 190 new genomic loci (a fixed position on a chromosome) and 939 new genes associated with intelligence. The discovery serves to enlighten human understanding of the genetic makeup of cognitive ability.

Participants took part in neurocognitive tests that measured their intelligence. Scores were then compared with their DNA, alerting scientists to which mutations are associated with higher intelligence. This led to some other genetic discoveries, namely that the intelligence genes correlated with increased instances of autism, along with longevity, suggesting that carriers could be prone to living longer lives.

What’s more, the 270,000-strong sample led to the detection of over nine million mutations. Wading through this information, the team identified 205 regions in DNA code linked with intelligence – including 190 unprecedented ones. Of the 1,016 specific genes identified, 939 of these were brand new discoveries.

Meanwhile, presence of these genes demonstrated a negative correlation with cognitive health disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depressive symptoms.

“Our results indicate overlap in the genetic processes involved in both cognitive functioning and neurological and psychiatric traits and provide suggestive evidence of causal associations that may drive these correlations,” explain the researchers.

“These results are important for understanding the biological underpinnings of cognitive functioning and contribute to understanding of related neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

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Airtel Africa activates subsea cable connecting Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa

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Airtel Africa has announced the successful activation of the 2Africa submarine cable system that will connect Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.

In a statement by the telecom giant on Monday, the 2Africa cable system, which is one of the largest subsea projects globally, is designed to interconnect Africa, Europe, and Asia.

The statement added that the
activation 2Africa cable system is “part of a broader initiative to deliver faster and more resilient internet services, supporting the digital transformation across Africa.”

While speaking on the activation, CEO of Airtel Telesonic, PD Sarma, said the company, through its wholesale arm of Airtel Telesonic, achieved the milestone with their partnership with Alcatel Submarine Networks, which is an industry leader in optical submarine networks deployed worldwide, with the ability to offer turn-key solutions utilizing the latest technology, both in subsea infrastructure and transmission capacity.

“The activation of the 2Africa submarine cable is a monumental step in our mission to bridge the digital divide in Africa,” he said.

“Airtel is proud to launch the first phase of 2Africa cable system powered by the latest SLTE equipment from our partner.

“This project not only underscores our commitment to investing in advanced infrastructure, but also our dedication to empowering communities with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age.

“This is a significant milestone underscoring the power of collaboration and innovation to bring the world’s longest Submarine cable system to Africa,” he added.

He added that the 2Africa submarine cable is set to transform the digital landscape in Africa, providing unprecedented opportunities for connectivity and growth.

“As Airtel Africa continues to expand its network, we remain committed to delivering innovative solutions that meet the evolving needs of its customers,” Sarma added.

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Airtel Kenya expands 5G network to 39 counties, 285 wards

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Airtel Kenya has announced an expansion of its 5G network to 39 counties and 285 wards in the country.

The expansion, according to the giant telco company, has now doubled its 5G footprint, up from 16 counties and 180 wards in July 2023.

The company also revealed that it has increased the number of its 5G sites to 690, up from 372 when the network went live, with further plans to launch an additional 1000 sites by the end of this year, which will bring the total number of 5G sites to 1690.

While addressing journalists at a breakfast media briefing, Ashish Malhotra, Managing Director, Airtel Kenya said the rollout which is the biggest ever in Airtel Kenya’s operations, will improve indoor coverage in towns and connect rural areas and will specially focus on enhancing and deepening Airtel’s network coverage in the northeastern region of the country.

“Aw Airtel Kenya, we are steadfast in our dedication to supporting digital inclusion, and we are encouraged by the market’s response to our offerings,” Malhotra said.

“We are confident that our ongoing network expansion will enable us to extend connectivity to more communities nationwide, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital revolution.

“In marking this milestone Airtel Kenya has rolled out the unlimited home broadband 5G plans, structured across three tiers: 10 Mbps at Kes 3,500 monthly, 20 Mbps at Kes 5,000 monthly, and 30 Mbps at Kes 6,500 monthly,” he said.

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