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University of Tartu scientists have developed a test that can determine a person’s genetic predisposition to aptitude in a certain kinds of sports.

Genetic testing for sports ability is not a new phenomenon – this kind of testing is already carried across the globe. However, these tests have usually relied on one or two genes. Estonian professor from the University of Tartu, Sulev Kõks has developed a test relying on six specific genes, reported ETV.

“The test we apply uses six genes chosen on the basis of science literature and with a relatively steadfast prediction prowess, we can find the right field of sports for a person. Not the specific field, but the general type of sports,” said Kõks.
The scientists are able to tell whether people have the potential to be good in strength or endurance-related sports.
Skiing expert and olympic medal winner Jaak Mae said the technology could help young athletes choose the right type of sport for them and help coaches give the right advice.
The test was run on the professional swimmer Triin Aljand. Professor Kõks, without knowing the subject’s identity, found the subject to be predisposed to being good in track and field, rowing, short-to-middle distance running and swimming, indicating that Aljand had chosen the right field.
Sports Gene, the company behind marketing the new technology, aims to make the test as cheap and widely available as possible. It currently offers the service by mail.
Founded in 1632, the University of Tartu is the largest university in Estonia and one of the most venerable centers of education and research in Central and Eastern Europe. Today, Tartu is home to 17,000 students, including 670 international students from more than 30 countries.

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1 Mar 2013