If the research Atlas Sports Genetics follows proves to be correct, parents might have a much easier time selecting sports for their children to play.
The Boulder-based Atlas Sports Genetics is offering a cheek swab DNA test to search for the ACTN3 gene. A 2003 study exposed a link between the ACTN3 gene and athletic prowess. Possessing the R variant of the ACTN3 gene leads to development of the fast-twitch fibers that are crucial for success in sports like football, soccer, baseball, track and field, and other sports that rely on speed and power.
Naturally, marketing genetic testing to parents who are keen to raise sons and daughters that will become professional athletes is a controversial endeavor. Some doctors and researchers feel that while ACTN3 testing is certainly a valid and useful tool in sports science, it's not meant for children.