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Why are Jamaicans so fast?

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanAugust 21, 2008 9:30 AM


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I haven't been watching the Olympics, but my news feeds are broad enough that I get a general sense of who is winning, and who is not. Over at Genetic Future Dan MacArthur has a post up, The gene for Jamaican sprinting success? No, not really:

And Bolt is not the only Jamaican to impress in short distance events in Beijing: the country's women's sprint team took all three medals in their 100 metre dash. Naturally, these performances have provoked widespread speculation about the basis of Jamaica's sprinting success, and the short-distance prowess of other populations of West African ancestry. One controversial suggestion has drawn the most headlines: that sprinting is in their genes, or rather in one gene in particular - variously referred to as "Actinen A" or "ACTN3".

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