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Family issues

In a recent article from the New York Times, a study about knee injuries was reviewed. The hypothesis was that there is a genetic factor in knee injuries. It seems scientists have found something that they can correlate, and are beginning to investigate more deeply.

There may well be a useful genetic marker for knee vulnerability. But much more significant is the reality that we learn to move from our families. We have the largely same strengths, and the same weaknesses in our movement habits. These habits form our bodies. Without bio-kinetic input, i.e. movement, genes create nothing.

Gene therapy is fancy and sexy. Politicians are loath to be seen as un-supportive to cancer research, or anything that has a big “wow, gee whiz!” factor. More complex issues are lost, leaving funding under the control of mainstream medical and Big Pharma.

Movement research is pedestrian (pun intended). It is so mundane that it takes a disciplined mind to see the immense value of exploring normal common function. Yet if we change our plan for everyday education, we will effect much more than if we aim at a genetic minority.

I support a balanced spectrum of research. Let the geneticists and the nano-technologists develop their part. Their precision and discipline are marvelous.

But we must simultaneously support the big picture people- the artists and visionaries who drive the culture and push the envelope of human comprehension. Remember that there are people who spend a life-time developing analytic and critical scales for the arts- which are an inherent part of humanity. To devalue that body of knowledge by gross oversight is to undercut the validity of all forms of investigation into human function.

No bio-mechanical analysis will tell us what make a Baryshnikov, a Michael Phelps, or even a Lady Gaga. When the scientifically oriented ignore the rich contributions because their models don’t handle them well, then it is a loss for us all.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/phys-ed-are-bad-knees-in-our-genes/

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September 29, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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