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Gene-Doping: Creating Super Jocks

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Imagine if you could create an athlete who would run like Shaun Alexander, jump like Vince Carter and throw people to the ground like Triple H. That may sound kinda crazy, but scientists are already well on their way to making such a super-human. It's being made possible by something called "gene doping".

Gene Doping - What Is It?

A gene is one of the many microscopic building blocks that make up your body. There are millions of these things. Each person has a different set of genes which is why we all look different from each other. Well, scientists have now figured out a way to copy genes in a lab and then transplant them into humans. So if you want to run or bike longer without getting tired, scientists can give you a certain gene so you don't run out of breath as quickly. If you want your muscles to get bigger, a doctor could inject you with genes that makes your muscles grow. This sounds pretty cool - but it's actually pretty dangerous as well. Scientists still don't know what the full effects of "gene doping" are. They could damage your heart or liver. They may even make you grow hair on your tongue.

Gene Doping - A New Way To Cheat

Injecting genes to do better in sports is also cheating - just like steroids. Many athletes are already trying gene doping, but it's pretty hard to catch them. If an athlete is taking steroids, you can sometimes catch them by looking at a sample of their pee under a microscope. But it's much harder to catch athletes who have injected special genes because they look a lot like the athlete's natural genes. So what does this mean for the future of sports? Scientists say that by the 2008 Olympics, thousands of athletes may be using gene doping. This means we could see world records being beaten like never before. But will it really be the same if athletes are being built in a scientific laboratory?

Gene Doping - Build Your Dream Athlete

If you were a mad scientist and could build the ultimate athlete using gene doping, what would he or she look like? Would you combine the size and strength of Shaq with the graceful genes of an Olympic gymnast? Or what about a quarterback who had the arm strength of Tom Brady and the speed of Michael Vick? your ultimate athlete combos!

What do you think about gene doping? Do you think it's cheating? Comment your thoughts on gene doping to Kidzworld.

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