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Gene in Place of Medicine

Posted June. 01, 2002 08:59,   


Gene treatment to cure disease by transplanting gene into body threatens sports.

Financial times reported on 31st, “ if sports player insert gene for reinforcing muscles it can cause epoch-making improvement in skills. Therefore it can be misused, and it would be really hard to find out”.

The newspaper expected that, in case gene treatment is widely used, sports can be degraded as spectacle, which deformed stuntman produces and after 20 years, athletic sports would be changed like car-racing in which engine, technology and skill of driving will lead to victory.

Chairman of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) under IOC, Dick Pound concerned, “if use of gene treatment becomes actualized, current style of sports would disappear”.

One method of gene treatment currently in study is to insert gene which develops muscles in to body without symptoms.

Professor Jeffrey Goldspink in Royal Free and University College in London is developing this gene in order to cure fatal diseases in which muscles is getting vanished.

When he inserted the gene into mouse, muscles of mouse increased 20 percent in two weeks.

Full scale test in body can also start within two years.

Harmone that gene secretes is secreted naturally after exercise for developing muscles and secretion gets reduced after reaching old age.

Another gene in study is erythropoietin to control creation of red corpuscles.

If red corpuscles are increased more, it can supply oxygen into body; therefore, exercising power by burning oxygen is highly improved.

As a result of analyzing Aero Maentiranta who won two gold medals in cross country Ski at Innsbruck Winter Olympics, 1984, it was revealed that he had sort of gene mutation, which can create more red corpuscles than others.

Following this, the study started.

Proffessor Goldspink said that it is sure for sports players to use new treatment, “Olympic will become `somatotropin` ”.

However, it is hard to disclose as well as side effects are huge, therefore, if erythropoietin is excessive, blood becomes thick and danger of heart diseases or cerebral paralysis and hormone of growing muscles raises danger of outbreak of cancer and heart diseases, delivered the newspaper.

Eun-Taek Hong euntack@donga.com