Olympic medicine: Are elite athletes really healthier than the rest of us?

As Los Angeles Times science writer Jon Bardin wrote in a recent article, “There are numerous genetic factors known to confer advantages in athletic contests from mutations that increase the oxygen carrying capacity of blood to gene variants that confer an incredible increase in endurance, and these mutations appear to be especially common in Olympic athletes.”

Gene therapy could become the next version of doping, which the World Anti-Doping Agency is currently trying to combat by discouraging the use of genetic testing to assess athletic performance and by encouraging research to detect the use of gene therapies designed for medicinal purposes to, say, increase muscle growth or endurance.

View the original article here: Olympic medicine: are elite athletes really healthier than the rest of us? – Boston Globe

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