Research psychologist claims to predict your cognitive performance from a cheek swab or blood sample

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

Genetic testing may be the next method used to predict cognitive performance. The technology has been developed, and the United States Military is beginning to “play” with it.

Could genetic testing be the next method to predict cognitive performance?

From a cheek swab or a sample of blood, a person’s genes can be an indicator of working memory and cognitive performance. Is this a good thing? Decide for yourself. The press release making this “new tool” public is listed below – from the US Air Force.

Technology already developed, and the United States Military is “playing” with it

A research psychologist at the Air Force Research Laboratory can predict your mental performance from a cheek swab or blood sample.

Kevin D. Schmidt of the 711th Human Performance Wing invented the new tool, which compares a snip of the person’s FTCD gene (formimidoyltransferase cyclodeaminase) against a cognitive model that includes data from visual memory tests.

The new tool compares a snip of a person’s FTCD gene against a cognitive model including data from visual memory tests

Scientific studies have associated the C allele of the rs914246 single nucleotide polymorphism in the polymorphismwith improved working memory performance of younger people, ages 18 to 27 years.

What is FTCD and how does it relate to cognitive ability?

FTCD is an enzyme that helps our bodies create amino acid glutamate and vitamin folate, which are neurotransmitters critical for brain adaption, spatial learning, and overall cognitive ability.

Based on the results of the test…

Based on the results of the test, the person could be prescribed dietary supplements of folate or glutamate, cognitive exercises, or an improvement modification of the person’s DNA using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technique.

Invention was made public in a U.S. patent application

The invention was made public in a U.S. patent application filed by the Air Force. The document included data and analysis from testing 642 human subjects and a detailed description of genetic profiling methods.

TechLink coordinating with Air Force to help private companies turn inventions into new products

In coordination with the Air Force technology transfer office, TechLink, the Department of Defense’s partnership intermediary, is helping private companies understand how they can turn the invention into new products.

Through licensing agreements, businesses can obtain the intellectual property rights to make and sell the test to military and commercial customers.

Joan Wu-Singel, senior technology manager at TechLink, has been helping companies license inventions in the 711th Human Performance Wing’s sizeable patent portfolio for several years. She said the DNA test clearly had value in the civilian marketplace.

“People who can process and retain information better than their peers can be put in jobs that require fast thinking and complex problem-solving, or it can be used as a diagnostic for training and diet,” Wu-Singel said. “It’s another tool in the chest for recruiters who have to find the best candidates.”


Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.

Node Smith graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in 2017, and is currently licensed as a naturopathic physician in Oregon and working towards becoming licensed in Saskatchewan, Canada as well.

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