Is Your Kid a Sprinter or Footballer? Gene Test Knows

But experts cite scientific, ethical flaws
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2008 10:48 AM CST
Is Your Kid a Sprinter or Footballer? Gene Test Knows
A test being pioneered in Colorado uses a gene to point to a child's innate athletic aptitudes.

The answer to whether a kid would make a better linebacker or long-distance runner might lie in a simple genetic test—but many experts worry it could lead parents in the wrong direction, the New York Times reports. Based on a study that pointed to one gene’s role in athletic ability, the $149 test being pioneered in Colorado aims to determine whether a child is better suited to endurance sports, games of speed and power, or something in between.

Experts’ concerns about the tests range from its accuracy to its implications for healthy parenting. It’s “an opportunity to sell new versions of snake oil,” said a gene therapist. “I don’t deny that these genes have a role in athletic success, but it’s not that black and white.” A sports ethicist noted that “the problem here is that the kids are not old enough to make rational autonomous decisions about their own life.”
(Read more genetics stories.)

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