Friday, February 19, 2010

The next frontier: gene doping

Interesting article on the CNN website today about genetic engineering and the idea of creating better athletes through gene doping. A bioethicist is quoted as saying he is in favor of such manipulations:

Andy Miah, a bioethicist and University of the West of Scotland professor, argues that society is morally obligated to find safer means to genetically enhance athletes.

"If we can develop technologies that more carefully align with an athlete's individual physiology, then the chances of it leading to unforeseen side effects diminishes considerably," Miah said.

If it's possible to create webbed fingers so that swimmers can improve their stroke, he's for it.

"Some will recoil at the idea of this, since they feel it will sully the good name of so-called 'clean' sports. My response is that this is already happening," he said. "Every athlete makes a choice about what technology they will use to help them prepare for competition. Some athletes will reject the advice of nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists and so on.

"They may not even wear running shoes. However, the majority of athletes immerse themselves in a world of technology -- whether they perceive it or not -- and modern sport has always been about the obsession to evolve performance, beat world records and generally test the boundaries of human capability."

The entire article is at .

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