Can genetic tests predict athletic performance in kids?


– My colleagues and I were writing about a genetic test that is available
to parents on the internet that tests to see if
children or individuals carry a protein that makes
their muscles contract faster and presumably is to
some degree predictive of their athletic ability. So the science behind these tests is that they’re looking for gene types that encode proteins, or produce proteins that would be helpful in particular types of athletic
endeavors such as sprinting, anything that leads in
high bursts of energy. In sciences, if you have
two copies of these proteins instead of one, perhaps you’re more likely to excel in these types of sports. I think the most important
thing for the parents to realize is that this is not an absolute test. This test is not an absolute prediction of athletic ability. There is evidence to
suggest a small increase in a likelihood that
carrying these gene types may predispose a child or make them more likely to be better at certain types of sports. But by no means does that mean that if your child has these gene types that they are destined
to become an olympian, and by no means does it mean that they don’t have the gene types. Are they destined to not
excel at other athletics or even rise to Olympic ranks.

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