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Gene Doping August 5, 2008

Posted by Matt Brown in Genetics.

The doping of the future as it has been called.  It has the potential to create a new breed of athletes, faster and stronger than they could ever be without it.  Oh, and it’s impossible to trace.  You can see why some are very worried about the possiblities of gene doping, especially with the Olympics around the corner.  But when you get right down to it, is genetic engineering (lets drop the pejorative “doping” for now) really all that bad.  Not according to an article written in The Economist.  You can find it in the link below but here’s the synopsis.  The author’s main point is that our resistance to performance enhancement stems from two beliefs: it’s not safe and it’s not fair.  The first goes without saying.  If a product is harmful for the person taking it, regardless of it performance enhancement capabilities, it should be banned.  The second one is a bit more tricky.  Is it fair that some people are born with genes that allow them to produce more EPO than the average person or allow them to build muscle faster?  Frankly, no it isn’t.  In fact, genetic engineering could actually be a way to encourage fairness, leveling the playing field by providing everyone with the same genetic advantages so that the only things that determine the winner are training and hard work.  There are other points made but you can read them for yourself.  I encourage everyone to do so because this is a debate that is not going away anytime soon.





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