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Born to run? Maybe, but this gene switch had little to do with it

BOSTON -- As athletes get ready for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon today, many will have mantras. One of my favorites, from septuagenarian marathoner Malcolm Brookes is "I can, I will, I am," but another popular one is "you were born for this." A group of British scientists wanted to check that out, testing whether a genetic switch associated with obesity had any effect on a person's likelihood of becoming a high-level distance athlete.

What they found -- published in the journal PLOS One this month -- was that any link between the FTO A/T polymorphism and a would-be-elite endurance athlete's hopes of a boffo career were statistically insignificant. Their wording:

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