Agriculture
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Watching out for vultures
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Salamanders and Newts
Bullfrogs
Animals
Revenge of the Cowbirds
Blotchy Face, Big-Time Wasp
Hot Pepper, Hot Spider
Behavior
The Disappearing Newspaper
Bringing fish back up to size
When Darwin got sick of feathers
Birds
Kookaburras
Woodpecker
Waterfowl
Chemistry and Materials
Butterfly Wings and Waterproof Coats
Picture the Smell
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Computers
Galaxies far, far, far away
Earth from the inside out
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Mammals in the Shadow of Dinosaurs
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
Downsized Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
Giving Sharks Safe Homes
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Environment
Swimming with Sharks and Stingrays
Little Bits of Trouble
The Oily Gulf
Finding the Past
A Plankhouse Past
Ancient Cave Behavior
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
Fish
Angler Fish
A Jellyfish's Blurry View
Puffer Fish
Food and Nutrition
Eat Out, Eat Smart
Symbols from the Stone Age
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
GSAT English Rules
Pronouns
Capitalization Rules
Order of Adjectives
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
How are students placed after passing the GSAT exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT Scholarship
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Mathematics
Monkeys Count
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Setting a Prime Number Record
Human Body
Taste Messenger
A Better Flu Shot
What the appendix is good for
Invertebrates
Spiders
Giant Clam
Termites
Mammals
Manatees
Oxen
Chinchillas
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Children and Media
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Physics
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Powering Ball Lightning
Electric Backpack
Plants
The algae invasion
Nature's Alphabet
Hungry bug seeks hot meal
Reptiles
Pythons
Copperhead Snakes
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
Planet Hunters Nab Three More
Sounds of Titan
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
Technology and Engineering
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Smart Windows
A Light Delay
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Transportation
How to Fly Like a Bat
Middle school science adventures
Robots on the Road, Again
Weather
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
Catching Some Rays
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
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™