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Decoding Athletic Genetics

A December 1st article in the New York Times reports that in Boulder, Colorado parents have been given the opportunity to genetically test their children through Atlas Sports Genetics. A $149 test is now available, which aims to “predict a child’s natural athletic strengths.” Atlas states that focusing this testing on children from infancy to about 8 years in age is ideal, because “physical tests to gauge future sports performance at that age are, at best, unreliable.” Research primarily performed at the University of Sydney and published in 2003 regarding the gene ACTN3, prompted this business endeavor. This single gene, of the more than 20,000 in the human genome, is being touted as a reliable predictor for whether a person would be well-suited for speed and power sports versus endurance activities.

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