Genetic test for talent gains popularity among Chinese parents

Soon enough, proud Chinese parents may have a new way to brag about their
children. This time, the “achievement” can be found in children’s genes,
and a genetic test to locate that talent is growing more and more popular
across the country.

Many Chinese parents see the test as an advanced version of “zhua zhou,” or
“1-year-old catch” – a traditional blessing ceremony for children when they
turn 1 year old. Usually, a child is presented with several objects, such as
a pen, some cash and some food. The first thing the child grabs is said to
be representative of the child’s future.

The genetic test has recently become a hot topic, after Chinese boxing
champion Zou Shiming had his sons tested for the “talent gene.” The results
surprised many, as Zou’s sons were found to have more potential talent as
TV hosts than boxers.

In Nanjing, a genetic testing company organized a public test at a park on
May 29, which a crowd of anxious parents attended in order to find out about
their children’s futures. Each child was tested using saliva only. According
to a company employee, each child’s results are compared to the company’s
gene database, and a final report can be ready within one month, Yangtze
Evening News reported.

Apart from identifying genes indicative of potential diseases, the test also
claims to determine whether a child is particularly gifted in any area, from
academics to sports.

While many parents have expressed the desire to know more about their
children’s futures, Professor Li Rui at Beijing Institute of Genetics suggested
that parents view the test as nothing more than a fun experiment, leaving
space for their children to develop along their own paths, the report stated.

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