Of all of the decisions parents face regarding their children's future,
choosing between shoulder pads or running shoes for their Christmas
present seems trivial. Well, according to Kevin Reilly, president of
Atlas Sports Genetics, this is a decision you should not take lightly.
"If you wait until high school or college to find out if you have a
good athlete on your hands, by then it will be too late," he said in a
recent New York Times interview. "We need to identify these kids from 1
and up, so we can give the parents some guidelines on where to go from
In December, Reilly's company began marketing a $149 saliva swab test
for kids, aged 1 to 8, to determine which variant of the gene ACTN3 is
in their DNA. According to a 2003 Australian study, ACTN3 was shown to
be a marker for two different types of athletic prowess, explosive
power or long endurance. While everyone carries the gene, the
combination of variants inherited, one from each parent, differs.
Read the full article on sports genetics.
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