This unique collection of original research and in-depth reviews examines the genes that make a champion, the physiology of elite athletes, limits to performance and how they might be overcome.
Excess body heat is a barrier to performance in many sports, and a novel study by Romain Meeusen et al.1 shows that both the neurotransmitter systems have an important impact on the control and perception of thermoregulation.
Rats whose dopaminergic and the noradrenergic reuptake was inhibited – by the anti-smoking aid Xyban – were able to exercise twenty minutes longer than usual in the sweltering heat and tolerated higher core body temperature.
What genes makes a champion, asked Alun Williams et al?2 They identify 23 individual genetic variations that enhance athletic performance — “If the optimum genetic combination existed in one person, world records like Paula Radcliffe’s would probably be shattered.”
Left to nature, the odds of anyone alive having all 23 variations is just 200,000:1. But what might the future hold for genetic manipulation and testing?
It’s no surprise that Marcus Amman et al. have shown that tiring out a leg muscle will subsequently reduce your performance in a 5km cycling time trial — but would you have guessed that it is ‘all in the mind’?3
It is not the muscle’s own temporary weakness that reduces performance, they find, but instead the brain places an unconscious ‘brake’ on the central motor drive to the limbs and therefore regulates exercise performance.
The Journal of Physiology’s Olympic Special Issue will be published on 1 January 2008.
The Secret of the Rock Drawings
24.05.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Chemical juggling with three particles
24.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
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