Mental Floss

Predict Your Kid's Athletic Future (With Science!)

Jill Harness
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Parents always wonder what their kid's future will be, but when it comes to potential athletic success, DNA carries some telltale signs. If a child has a lot of ACTN-three, responsible for the development of fast-twitching muscles, he or she will likely excel at sports like football, hockey or tennis.

On the other hand, a person who is low in ACTN-three will be more inclined to succeed in endurance sports, such as swimming, running and cycling. Someone with some, but not a lot of, ACTN-three will demonstrate both strength and endurance and be able to excel in a wide array of sports.

For parents who can't wait to find out what athletic abilities their children will possess, a company called Atlas Sports Genetics can run a test on your child's cheek swab DNA sample. Is there any circumstance where you'd consider doing this with your (real or hypothetical) child?

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