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Gene Doping – The Future of Doping?

Teaching Unit – Gene Doping in Competitive Sports

Swen Körner, Stefanie Schardien, Birte Steven-Vitense, Steffen Albach and Edgar Dorn

Gene doping is regarded as the form of performance enhancement in elite sports with the greatest potential which also raises issues for all of society that transcend competitive sport. This book brings together detailed concepts for lessons dealing with the scientific, legal, ethical, and social aspects of gene doping. The lessons have been applied in class and extensively annotated for classroom use. Upper secondary level students may choose out of various options which will refine and expand their subject expertise as well as their methodology, decision-making and responsibility in accordance with their subject focus, interdisciplinary approach, and curricular objectives.


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Student materials Volume 2


Volume 2 (Student Materials) contains all worksheets required for the teaching unit. They can therefore be printed out together for the comprehensive classic option. Alternatively, individual material can be selected depending on personal preference. 87 Chapter 1 Scientific basics of gene doping MATERIAL 1: Basic text Definition of gene doping The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) defines gene doping as the transfer of nucleic acids or nucleic acid sequences (DNA, RNA) as well as normal or geneti- cally modified cells with the potential to enhance sport performance. Nucleic acids DNA is double-stranded and is packed into chromosomes in the nucleus of eve- ry cell in our bodies. RNA is produced in the nucleus as a single-stranded copy of DNA; it exits the nucleus and is used in the cytoplasm as pattern for the synthe- sis of proteins (gene expression). While a living organism’s cells contain mostly identical DNA, different cells produce differing RNAs and proteins depending on their function (skin, muscle, liver cells, etc.) (Differential gene expression). Mutations Fig. 1: Genetically modified mouse. Fig. 2: Genetically modified mouse. Source: Lee 2007; PLoS One. 29:2(8):e789 Source: Lee 2007, PLoS One. 29;2(8):e789 Mutations in most cases are naturally occurring random changes in the DNA. From mutations it is possible to tell how large the effects can be when a living organism is modified genetically. For example, in Belgian blue cattle, the gene for 88 myostatin, a hormone that inhibits muscle growth, is defective due to a mutation....

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