• Question: do your genes effect your talents?

    Asked by rozzadee to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Interesting question.

      Well to a certain extent yes. A good example of this is running. people have different types of muscle fibres depending on the genes they have.

      Slow Twitch (Type I) fibres are better at using oxygen. They fire more slowly than fast twitch fibres and can go for a long time before they fatigue. So if you have these you will be better at continuous work like running marathons.

      Fast Twitch (Type II) fibers use anaerobic metabolism so they are much better at generating short bursts of strength or speed than slow muscles. However, they fatigue more quickly. They fire more rapidly so if yo have these you will be a better sprinter.

      However like most things there is a balance between nature and nurture. So whilst your genes might mean you find one type of thing easier you can always improve your ability with practice and training.