[extropy-chat] BIO: Muscle enhancing gene therapy

Robert J. Bradbury bradbury at aeiveos.com
Tue Feb 17 13:10:44 UTC 2004

Well, I knew this was going to happen.  Scientits have announced
a gene therapy that improves muscle strength.  It appears to
be relatively simple as it involving only a single gene.  Interestingly
one could consider this gene therapy to be an anti-aging treatment
(because muscle strength tends to decline with age).

Muscle building gene therapy might build super athletes, scientist warns
By Paul Recer, Associated Press, 2/16/2004 16:20

The quote that I love is the one from the World Anti-Doping Agency...

"'Sport is and should be an effort to see how far you can go with your
 natural talents honed by exercise and skill perfection,' he (Richard
 Pound) said, and not by manipulating genes to build muscle."

What he fails to acknowledge is that this implies that sports are inherently
elitist and as a result discriminatory because some people are bound to have
better "natural talents" due to their genetic heritage.  For example a
strict non-gene therapy policy by WADA would prevent someone with a disease
like muscular dystrophy from ever playing competitive sports!  It would
also eliminate someone taking a gene therapy to combat aging from playing
competitive sports.  So one could put WADA into what we have referred to
as the "pro-deathist camp".

The only way I think this can be resolved is by developing a handicapping
system (such as that used in horse racing) for each of the various
sports.  This would level the genetic playing field so one is
simply dealing with "exercise and skill perfection".

Feel free to pass this message along to other forums.

Note: for those who wants to be politically active, the contact page
for WADA is:

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list