Would You Test Your Child for the "Sports Gene"?

dnaThe future is here. Imagine knowing early on exactly what sports your child could excel in. So instead of spending hundreds of dollars on tae kwon do, maybe you'd invest in basketball camp. Or instead of coercing your kid to love football like his dad, you'd encourage him to swim another lap at the Y.


Believe it or not, a Colorado company Atlas Sports Genetics, is claiming to have this technology. That's right, they say all you have to do is swab your child's (newborn - 8 years old) cheek and gums to collect DNA that will be analyzed for ACTN3, a single gene of 20,000 in the human genome. And pay your $149, of course. The New York Times reports that, "The test’s goal is to determine whether a person would be best at speed and power sports like sprinting or football, or endurance sports like distance running, or a combination of the two."

Could this lead to more college athletic scholarships? Or will it amount to kids' passions cut short because they don't have the "gene?" Be warned, experts have serious doubts about the validity of this test. Dr. Theodore Friedmann, the director of the University of California-San Diego Medical Center’s interdepartmental gene therapy program, called it  “an opportunity to sell new versions of snake oil,” according to the Times.

But what do you think? If this test really works, is it a good thing? Would you use it to bring out the Lebron James in your child?

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