PITCH: THE RACE HORSE AND THE SPEED GENE
With the recent Olympics in Rio, I had an idea for a science video series.
This quick pitch, created over a year ago, profiles genetic testing done on horses. One gene, called myostatin (since dubbed the Speed Gene) appears to be linked to racing potential.
All horses have myostatin.
But, one tiny variation of the gene predisposes some horses to being better at running shorter distances, while another (equally tiny variation) predisposes others to being better at longer distances.
The work has led to the creation of companies that test which version of the gene is present in your young race horse – the hope being that appropriate training tactics (short distance training vs. long distance) might be applied earlier on.
More personalized training.
Horses with potential are vetted earlier.
More successful racing careers.
It’s fascinating work, but it led (obviously) to my looking for similar genes in people. Are those Olympic athletes you just watched performing amazing feats of strength and stamina “genetically gifted?”
Turns out, work in humans isn’t quite as straight forward (for a number of reasons).
And before you ask, yes, a similar test is available for kids. So, you know…you can determine whether you might have given birth to the next Usain Bolt.
A little digging revealed all kinds of “interesting” stuff.
My personal video projects have exposed me to topics I never would have encountered in the lab.
That’s one thing I’m hugely grateful for on my entrepreneurial journey.
If you’re interested in other personal projects, head on over to the case study.