Agriculture
New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Watering the Air
Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Toads
Newts
Animals
Deep Krill
A Wild Ferret Rise
Assembling the Tree of Life
Behavior
Body clocks
Pipefish power from mom
The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages
Birds
Mockingbirds
Flamingos
Backyard Birds
Chemistry and Materials
Watching out for vultures
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
Computers
New eyes to scan the skies
Batteries built by Viruses
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
A Living Fossil
South America's sticky tar pits
Dino Takeout for Mammals
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Earth from the inside out
Sky Dust Keeps Falling on Your Head
Farms sprout in cities
Environment
Seabirds Deliver Arctic Pollutants
Animal CSI or from Science Lab to Crime Lab
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Finding the Past
Fakes in the museum
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Stonehenge Settlement
Fish
Mako Sharks
Hammerhead Sharks
White Tip Sharks
Food and Nutrition
The mercury in that tuna
Strong Bones for Life
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Who vs. Whom
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Ministry of Education Announces 82 GSAT Scholarships for 2010
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Deep-space dancers
GSAT Mathematics Quiz, Teaching Math, teaching anxiety
Monkeys Count
Human Body
Spitting Up Blobs to Get Around
Don't Eat That Sandwich!
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Invertebrates
Butterflies
Millipedes
Grasshoppers
Mammals
African Ostrich
Lion
African Leopards
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Physics
Dreams of Floating in Space
Project Music
Invisibility Ring
Plants
Making the most of a meal
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Underwater Jungles
Reptiles
Geckos
Crocodilians
Cobras
Space and Astronomy
A Great Ball of Fire
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
Catching a Comet's Tail
Technology and Engineering
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Slip Sliming Away
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Problems with Prepositions
Pronouns
Transportation
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Tinkering With the Basic Bike
Troubles with Hubble
Weather
Where rivers run uphill
Catching Some Rays
Warmest Year on Record
Add your Article

Foul Play?

Drug testing in sports is a serious matter. Athletes train hard to build muscle and body strength. Some may even resort to cheating. They can do this by abusing drugs called steroids to build extra muscle. This practice is not only unhealthy, but it also gives an athlete an unfair advantage. That's why most professional sports test for it. Now, scientists say that to keep the game fair, teams may want to test athletes' genes, as well. Depending on what genes they have, some athletes can beat drug tests, even if they're cheating. Others who play fair might be unjustly accused of cheating. Genes provide a chemical blueprint for making proteins. Proteins not only build the cells in your body, but they also carry out all the different jobs that cells do. People generally have two copies of each gene in their bodies—one copy comes from the mother and the other comes from the father. Sometimes, one or even both copies of the gene are defective or missing. In such cases, a person may produce far less of the protein than the average person does. That's what happens in this case. Scientists in Sweden found that some people completely lack the gene that produces the protein UGT2B17. It's an enzyme that prepares testosterone to be flushed from the body in the urine. They then showed how this genetic variation could affect the outcome of doping tests. Testosterone is naturally made in the body by both men and women, though it is primarily known as a male sex hormone. In addition to causing puberty changes in boys, like hair growth and a deeper voice, testosterone can spur muscle growth. Most steroids abused by athletes (called anabolic steroids) are made of testosterone. In order to distinguish between the natural testosterone that the body produces and synthetic testosterone from illegal steroid use, drug tests measure a ratio of two chemicals present in urine. One, epitestosterone, is a naturally occurring hormone. The other chemical, called TG, is created when testosterone is processed by the body. Most people have a 1:1 ratio of the chemicals, or equal amounts of each. A ratio showing higher levels of TG, or testosterone, is deemed potentially positive and requires more testing. In the study, the scientists found about 15 percent of 145 healthy males lacked the UGT2B17 enzyme entirely. Just over half the men (52 percent) had one copy of the gene that makes the enzyme, and one-third of them had two copies. The men were given a single shot of testosterone, enough to show up in doping tests. The researchers then monitored the production of TG in the men's urine for the next 15 days. About 40 percent of the men who lacked the enzyme never secreted enough TG to raise warning flags in the standard test, even after getting the testosterone shot. The study suggests that people with this genetic makeup could easily beat drug tests, even if they cheated by taking steroids. "There is a risk that many such individuals have escaped detection," says Anders Rane of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and one of the authors of the study. The study also showed that 14 percent of people with two copies of the gene made so much TG that the current test would flag them as cheaters even if they never got testosterone shots. Scientists say the study makes a case for combining genetic testing with standard drug tests to track athletes over time. The combination of tests may level the playing field, they say.—Susan Gaidos

Foul Play?
Foul Play?








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™