Sunday, November 30, 2008

Genetic test to predict sports ability?

The IHT reported:

In health-conscious, sports-oriented Boulder, Colorado Atlas Sports Genetics is playing into the obsessions of parents by offering a $149 test that aims to predict a child's natural athletic strengths. The process is simple. Swab inside the child's cheek and along the gums to collect DNA and return it to a lab for analysis of
ACTN3, one gene among more than 20,000 in the human genome.

Also: Some experts say ACTN3 testing in its infancy and virtually useless. 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."

"This may or may not be quite that venal, but I would like to see a lot more research done before it is offered to the general public," he said. "I don't deny that these genes have a role in athletic success, but it's not that black and white."

Dr. Stephen Roth, director of the functional genomics laboratory at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health who has studied ACTN3, said he thought the test would become popular. But he had reservations.

IPBiz notes that the most likely near-term benefit of research sponsored by California's CIRM will be genetic testing. While CIRM tries to "spin" this, the failure to come close to reproducing Hwang Woo Suk's human SCNT and the failure to come close on therapies remains. Klein of CIRM said:

"CIRM appreciates the tradeoffs involved in awarding funding for therapy development versus basic research and the impact of each on achieving CIRM’s mission. Fortunately, CIRM has not been presented with a binary choice. CIRM has the capacity to fund both basic research and therapy development. As CIRM’s 2006 and 2008 scientific strategic plans make clear, CIRM recognizes that it must fund both basic research and preclinical and clinical research in order to meet the goals established by Proposition 71. Indeed, CIRM’s funding priority is to create a “scientific pipeline to cures” stretching from early discoveries to clinical applications. The draft 2008 update to the strategic plan thus calls for dramatic increases beyond the 2006 plan in the types of research targeted to elicit therapeutic applications, and it envisions significantly more investment in focused “disease team” awards, translational research awards, and linkages to industry—the final conduit for getting research advances to the patient."

[from californiastemcell report:
CIRM Turning to 'Dramatic' Increases in Therapeutic Research


Post a Comment

<< Home