Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

To Test or Not to Test?

A proposal is making the rounds of the NCAA's Division I teams to test all athletes for sickle cell trait, according to an article in the New York Times. But the measure is being disputed by some groups, such as the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, that say the results could be used to discriminate against athletes who test positive for the disease, and that changing training practices would be enough to lower their risk of death. Some of the most influential football conferences — including the Pacific-10 and the Big East — oppose mandatory testing, the article says, but some schools test for the disease. A 2006 survey of athletic programs found that 21 percent of the 92 respondents screened all athletes for sickle cell trait, the New York Times says. But the worry is that even if the athletes are allowed to play in college, their prospects for the NFL will be dimmed if they come attached with a positive test result. Changing training practices, as the Army did after it stopped testing for sickle cell trait, may the best solution to protect all athletes from the overexertion, the article says.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.