Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Genetic Technologies Launches Sports Gene Test in Japan"

The launch of the SportsGeneTest in Japan was announced in the Washington Post in mid-September. Here is a quote from the press release:

"GTG director, Professor Deon Venter, himself a former British Ironman Triathlon champion, attended the launch. Professor Venter commented, "Japan represents a significant market for the ACTN3 SportsGene Test(TM), with highly influential sporting and government bodies keen to explore the relationship between genetics and sporting performance. Japan is an extremely technologically-sophisticated country and is now taking a leadership position in the science of optimizing a person's sports potential according to their inherited genetic capabilities."


Anonymous Dan Vorhaus said...

What exactly is the SportsGeneTest and, perhaps more importantly, how does Japan/GTG plan on using the test? Will it be administered to school children? To professional athletes?

12:44 am  
Blogger andymiah said...

it tests for muscle fibre type - do you have more fast twitch or slow twitch. they claim that this information can tell an athlete (ahem, or child) whether she is likely to be a better marathon runner or sprinter.

I do not know how Japan plan to use it. The producers of the test are adament that it should only be used in conjunction with other training knowledge. Moreover, they urge parents/coaches not to use it as a form of selection within youth sports. However, I am not optimistic that this 'urging' will be sufficient. It strikes be as a flexible moral rule and, like other forms of parental autonomy, one that will neither be governed nor controlled. In short, it seems quite probable that the tests will be used precisely for those purposes in due course, unless some clear legal guidelines are produced and used.

cheers dan.

10:16 am  

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