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.
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What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals
Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.
Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.
Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...
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