Agriculture
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Silk’s superpowers
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Salamanders
Toads
Tree Frogs
Animals
Polar Bears in Trouble
Baboons Listen for Who's Tops
The Secret Lives of Grizzlies
Behavior
Memory by Hypnosis
Pollution at the ends of the Earth
Math is a real brain bender
Birds
Albatrosses
Parrots
Geese
Chemistry and Materials
Flytrap Machine
The Buzz about Caffeine
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Computers
A Light Delay
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Galaxies on the go
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Meet your mysterious relative
Fossil Forests
Hall of Dinos
E Learning Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Explorer of the Extreme Deep
Coral Gardens
Warmest Year on Record
Environment
When Fungi and Algae Marry
A 'Book' on Every Living Thing
The Oily Gulf
Finding the Past
Early Maya Writing
A Long Trek to Asia
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Fish
Tilapia
Goldfish
Trout
Food and Nutrition
Strong Bones for Life
Recipe for Health
Eat Out, Eat Smart
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Pronouns
Problems with Prepositions
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Tarrant High overcoming the odds
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
Access denied - Disabled boy aces GSAT
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Math Naturals
Human Body
Walking to Exercise the Brain
Cell Phone Tattlers
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Invertebrates
Horseshoe Crabs
Shrimps
Black Widow spiders
Mammals
St. Bernards
Sheep
Sea Lions
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Extra Strings for New Sounds
Hold on to your stars, ladies and gentlemen
Powering Ball Lightning
Plants
Getting the dirt on carbon
City Trees Beat Country Trees
The algae invasion
Reptiles
Cobras
Iguanas
Black Mamba
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Supernovas Shed Light on Dark Energy
Sounds of Titan
Technology and Engineering
Spinach Power for Solar Cells
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
Young Scientists Take Flight
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Where rivers run uphill
Charged cars that would charge
Weather
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
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™