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Is There an App For That, Yet?

November 6, 2013

la84_sl_110613_HLG_DNA_Baby_msnbc_comFor a simple $169 a Boulder, Colorado, company will conduct a DNA test on your young athlete and tell you what sport he or she should play.

Fun schmun! Why have your kids waste time on an activity that they weren’t BORN TO PLAY!

From KDVR.com:

[The test] looks for variants in each of the two ACTN3 genes. The company claims a variant in both copies means a genetic advantage in endurance sports like long distance running.

One variant, they say, means you’re best suited for mixed pattern sports that use strength and endurance like soccer or cycling.

According to the company, no variants means a kid is better suited for sprint, power and strength sports like football or weightlifting.

“It’s a test that’s really used for assessing where an individual might be best suited for a sport,” said Mike Weinstein, founder of Atlas Sports Genetics. “If it turns out that they are say an endurance athlete, then that may be what they are more prone to be good at, and that may be what they want to be going into as a sport.”

Matthew Taylor, a medical geneticist at CU School of Medicine is not so sure:

“If you are looking at it for which sports should I choose? Which one would I be better at? Could I compete at a higher level in this versus that? I think that those data just are not there,” Dr Taylor said.

Nothing much has changed since MSNBC.com’s 2009 report on the same company.  Atlas Sports Genetics still is in business and parents still are using the service … well, there has been a $20 increase on the price of the test:

Like more than 200 other parents to date, Hilary and Aaron Anderson paid $149 to Atlas Sports Genetics — a Boulder, Colo. company — for a sneak peek at their kid’s athletic horizons …

… But the Andersons also understand one more thing about the test: It is drawing fire from scattered coaches, therapists and genetic experts who worry some parents will misuse the data and that the young science will inject even more pressure and politics into childhood games.

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