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See Inside Scientific American Volume 309, Issue 2

Book Review: The Sports Gene



The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance
David Epstein
Current, 2013 ($26.95)

Ever since the successful mapping of the human genome a decade ago, scientists have sought genes that distinguish top athletes from the rest of us, yielding fresh insights into the age-old question of nature versus nurture. As a former competitive runner and current Sports Illustrated senior writer, Epstein is well equipped to explain the complexities of the “sports gene” search. Time and time again, his deeply researched and nuanced investigations of the genetics underlying the athleticism of different races, genders and individuals reinforce a comforting, commonsense conclusion: excelling at sports isn't just a matter of natural talent or nurtured practice—it's both.

This article was originally published with the title "The Sports Gene."

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