Saturday, November 21, 2015

Genetic Testing for Tomorrow's Sports Superstars?

     Every parent wants their child to be successful; they have more faith in their children then they do themselves, and want better for their children than what they had. They want them to be the star-athlete, the honor student, and the take-your-breath-away singer when they get on stage, all in one. When it comes to athletes, the saying "it's in their genes," or "they were born to be an athlete." This is in fact plausible (take the Mannings, for example), but is it able to be genetically tested and pre-determined? There are companies that claim they can predict the athletic ability of children at a young age through genetic testing so they can be raised and trained to be that super-star athlete.    
   Although this sounds great and also sounds doable, it is not reality (yet). The genes that the companies supposedly test are ACTN3 R577X and ACE I/D, which have been linked to power performance and endurance. Although this is true, it is not proven that these tests are predictive and can there tell you if your child will be a cross country runner or body builder. 
     Honestly, I find this article very disheartening for two reasons. Number one, that companies are feeding on hopeful parents in an area they know they will put forth money to ensure their child's success. On the other hand, I also find it a bit much that parents are paying to see if their child will be a star athlete and pre-determining their future interests for them. Just because a child is "born to be" a star athlete, does not mean they will want to, and there is nothing wrong with that. Although the discoveries scientists are making this day in age are remarkable, I think we need to stick to discoveries that will benefit the health and well being of our society instead of trying to breed future NFL stars. 

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1 comment:

  1. An easier and less expensive way to determine if a child is athletic would be to observe the child play sports when young. Usually athleticism is easy to determine; most people who are star athletes were also star athletes when young. I also agree with your view that we should not over emphasize creating future NFL stars out of children. There are few jobs in professional sports, even some of the most talented athletes will not get a job.