Testing your genes for sporting traits

by Krysia Collyer on April 13, 2009

Watch how I was tested at the University of British Columbia to see what sport I am predisposed to and how easy a test like this can be.

The days of screening for athletic talent based upon individual genetic make-up are here. Recent developments in technology allow scientists to test athletes to see whether they are predisposed to a particular sport. In 2005, the Sea Eagles, a professional rugby team in Australia, DNA-tested 18 of its 24 players for exercise-related genes. The reason for the test was to determine each player’s genetic profile and create a training program based on the results.

One of the genes that they were looking for was the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene. ACE is tied to endurance sports, as it allows for a stronger blood flow to reach the muscles. Companies around the world offer these services for a few hundred dollars to the public, but genetic tests like these are occurring on a daily basis at many universities.

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