This chapter reflects on the principles of training to improve performance in sport. The level of success that an individual can achieve is limited by their genetic potential, and this sets an upper ceiling to performance. To reach that potential, however, requires a sustained period of intensive training, at least for most athletes. Despite the tendency for athletes to attempt to copy the details of the training programmes of their sporting heroes, this is seldom successful. This is in part because of a lack of the physiological, biochemical, and psychological characteristics that are prerequisites for success, but also in part because there is a great variation between individuals in their trainability. Indeed, the type of training—and the frequency, intensity, and duration of training sessions—will vary greatly between sports, and will also be different for different individuals. The chapter then considers the danger of developing an overtraining syndrome.
Adaptations to training
Adaptive immunity: introduction
This chapter begins with the description of adaptive immunity. It notes that the term uses the word adaptive because of the way this type of immunity allows both species and individuals to tailor-make their own set of recognition molecules, adapted to the microbes they actually encounter. In immunological language, the system displays high specificity and memory. The chapter then explores the other properties which distinguish lymphocytes from other immunological cells. It brings out the essential differences between lymphocytes and phagocytic cells. The chapter also outlines the lymphoid system, the total mass of lymphocytes in the body, then explains the fundamental part of lymphocyte function. It then considers the antigen, antigen-recognition molecules, clonal selection, and memory. The chapter concludes by discussing the regulation of adaptive immunity.
This chapter focuses on the process of forming new blood vessels from pre-existing ones by the growth and migration of endothelial cells — angiogenesis. It argues that this process is common during embryogenesis, although it rarely occurs in the adult. The chapter then shows why angiogenesis is essential for most tumors with respect to cancer. It explains the angiogenic switch and the mechanisms of angiogenic sprouting. Sprouting of pre-existing vessels requires major reorganization involving destabilization of the mature vessel, proliferation and migration of endothelial cells, and maturation. It is regulated by the interaction of soluble mediators and their cognate receptors. The chapter then presents the other means of tumor neovascularization and elaborates on anti-angiogenic therapy. It then looks at vascular targeting by vascular disrupting agents.
The antibody response
This chapter examines how B-cells and T-cells, acting together, give rise to the production of antibody molecules: the antibody response. It begins with discussing the activation of B-cells, which occurs mainly in the lymphoid organs (the site depending on the route by which antigen arrives). The chapter then looks at the different sorts of antigen to activate B-cells in different ways, emphasizing the T-independent (Ti antigens) and T-dependent (TD). It then shifts to investigate how an immunoglobulin molecule on the surface of the B-cell switches on the intracellular mechanisms that lead to antibody formation. Next, the chapter outlines the consequences of the activation through the B-cell antigenreceptor complex. It also looks at the signals of T-cell activation, then reviews the B-cell memory and the antibody responses at mucosal surfaces.
This chapter begins with a description of apoptosis. It defines apoptosis as a type of “cell suicide” that is intrinsic to the cell. It is an active process requiring the expression of genetically encoded proteins that every cell is capable of executing. The chapter then chronicles the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis and examines specific mutations that affect the apoptotic pathway and play a role in carcinogenesis. It also investigates how mutations in the apoptotic pathway can lead to resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs. Next, the chapter presents strategies for the design of new cancer therapeutics that target apoptosis. It also studies how caspases play a central role in apoptosis.
The Application of Genetic Medicine in Childhood
This chapter explains the application of genetic medicine in childhood. It notes how patients and families with a family history of genetic disorders are identified with the help of genetic data. Moreover, the chapter looks at modes of inheritance by referencing Mendelian inheritance, autosomal recessive inheritance, and autosomal dominant inheritance. It also includes the underlying mutations linked with single gene disorders. The chapter then explores aneuploidy, the loss or gain of one or more whole chromosomes, alongside its structural chromosomal rearrangements. Finally, it tackles the clinical and ethical guidelines to genetic counselling and genetic testing as well.
B cells and antibody
This chapter stresses the function of B lymphocytes (or B-cells), essentially little antibody factories, able to switch on high-rate synthesis and secretion of antibody molecules when stimulated by recognition of the right antigen. It tracks the coordinated recognition and response in B-cells, then explains the diversity of the antibody repertoire. The chapter then describes the antibody molecule and its classes and subclasses. All antibody molecules using a particular heavy-chain constant-region gene are defined as belonging to the same class. The differences between different classes are fairly major, but there are smaller differences within classes, which are referred to as subclasses. The chapter also investigates what exactly do antibodies recognize, then studies the antigenic determinant or epitope. Finally, the chapter elaborates on the affinity of the antibody-antigen bond, then emphasizes the functions of the antibody. It also considers another useful role of antibodies in the monitoring and treatment of disease.
This chapter focuses on a discussion about bacteria. It begins by looking at one part of the bacterium with a special significance for both disease and immunity: the cell wall. By providing information on bacterial classification, the chapter illustrates three types of bacterial cell wall which vary greatly in their structure: the gram-positive, mycobacterium, and the gram-negative. The chapter then moves to describe parasitic bacteria and makes a distinction between aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in certain infections. It also examines bacteria which do not fit neatly into classification. Next, the chapter examines bacterial replication, emphasizing the special features of gene expression and the method for bringing about rapid changes in genes: phase variation. The chapter also talks about the control of bacterial disease by antibiotics and the remarkable number of ways in which bacteria, far from being pathogenic, are useful and even essential to humans and animals.
Bacterial disease and immunity
This chapter recalls the key properties of bacteria and the all-important distinction between extracellular and intracellular habitat. It reviews the immunological and therapeutic features of the most important pathogenic bacteria. The chapter begins with a discussion on staphylococcal infection, streptococcal infection, and clostridial infection. It then examines a disease of farm animals and farmers, anthrax, and other bacterial skin infections. The chapter also explicates the most important mycobacterial infection and one of the world's major health problems: tuberculosis. It then looks at respiratory infections, whooping cough, and the causes of meningitis. Next, the chapter considers some venereal diseases such as gonorrhoea and syphilis. It also considers plague, tularemia, and brucellosis, then discusses three infections: chlamydial infection, rickettsial infection, and mycoplasma infection.
Biochemical Bases for Performance
This chapter discusses adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the donor of the free energy that is used for muscle contraction, for the supporting ionic pumps that regulate muscle electrical activity, and for biosynthesis. It also talks about the molecule of ATP that is made up of a molecule of adenosine and consists of a purine base, a five-carbon sugar, and a chain of three phosphate groups. It also analyszes the phosphate groups that are attached by what are known as high-energy bonds, which means that considerable energy is required to produce the attaching reaction. The chapter points out that the formation of the high-energy bond is known as phosphorylation, while the breaking of the bond is known as hydrolysis. It details how adenosine diphosphate (ADP) is formed when a molecule of ATP is hydrolyzed and loses one of its phosphate groups.
Ronald J. Maughan and Michael Gleeson
The Biochemical Basis of Sports Performance looks at this topic by type of sport. Firstly, however, it introduces with an assessment of the biochemical basis of exercise and sport. The first sport it tackles is weightlifting, for which muscle strength and function are vital. It looks at protein in enzymes and the nutritional effects on strength training and performance. Next, it turns to the sprinter, for whom anaerobic metabolism is important. Then, it looks at middle-distance events and talks the reader through the glycolytic pathway amongst other elements. After that comes the endurance athlete who needs to consider energy supply and aerobic power. The game player follows and here fatigue in sprint sports is looked into. The text then moves on to a more general discussion of what constitutes sporting talent. It ends with a look at adaptations to training: training for speed, strength, middle-distance, endurance, and training strategies.
Aysha Divan and Janice A. Royds
Cancer Biology and Treatment starts off by describing the fundamentals of canceras a disease of the genome. It then looks at the pathology of cancer. It also examines molecular epidemiology and looks at key players and pathways in cancer. Cancer treatment and cancer management are important topics to consider in this field. Finally, the text looks at major challenges and new opportunities in the study and research of cancer.
This chapter provides an overview of the fundamentals of cancer. Normal cells evolve to become cancer cells by acquiring successive mutations in primarily two classes of genes: the proto-oncogenes and the tumour suppressor genes. Mutations that specifically drive cancer development and disease progression are called driver mutations; the rest are termed passenger mutations and their role in carcinogenesis is less clear. Large-scale cancer genome studies have provided deep insight into the mutational profile of the cancer genome, and are presently informing not only basic research but also the clinical management of cancer patients. The chapter then looks at cancer stem cells, which have the capacity to self-renew and differentiate into cell types that recreate the cellular heterogeneity of the tumour from which they derive. Viruses are also associated with the development of some cancers as are certain bacteria.
The cancer genome: mutations versus repair
This chapter looks at the structures of genes and describes the mutations that occur during carcinogenesis. It argues that changes in the nucleotide sequence of DNA — called mutations — are crucial for acquiring the hallmarks of cancer and have been labeled an enabling characteristic. The chapter then investigates how, on the one hand, mutations in DNA occur as a consequence of exposure to carcinogens and, on the other hand, examine the DNA repair systems that are in place to maintain the integrity of the genome and suppress tumorigenesis. The chapter then shifts to define the genetic information, coded within DNA, and the role of the accumulation of mutations. Ultimately, the chapter concludes with a discussion of conventional chemotherapies and a new class of drugs that target DNA repair pathways. It also studies the recent findings from advances in sequencing technology and imaging.
Cancer stem cells and the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation pathways: focus on colon cancer and leukemias
This chapter begins with an overview of the process of differentiation during development and in the adult. It outlines the characteristics of cells at different degrees of differentiation and discusses their relationship to cancer. The chapter also covers the review of the “cancer stem cell model” that states that subpopulations of cells with stem cell properties initiate and maintain the cancer phenotype. These cells often reside in distinct microenvironments in tumors, called stem cell niches. Signals from the stem cell niche dictate stem cell fate and behaviour. The chapter then reviews the molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of self-renewal and examines specific mutations in these pathways that can lead to cancer. Finally, the chapter elaborates on the new cancer therapeutics designed to target aspects of self-renewal and differentiation pathways.
Cancer Treatment and Clinical Management
This chapter presents an overview of cancer prognosis and current treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. It begins by looking at cancer prevention. Predicting the expected outcome for patients diagnosed with cancer is a critical step in their management; however, prognostication has remained somewhat subjective, leading to suboptimal clinical outcomes. The chapter then considers immunotherapy, which aims to treat cancer by generating or enhancing an immune response against the tumour. Immunotherapy differs from other methods of cancer treatment in that it does not target the tumour cell directly but instead targets the immune system. Principally, three strategies are utilized: immune checkpoint blockade, adoptive T cell transfer, and cancer vaccines. The chapter also describes how clinical trials of new candidate drugs are currently undertaken.
Cardiorespiratory Bases for Performance
This chapter provides a background on cardiovascular and respiratory systems from the perspective of the athlete. Their most important function is to deliver oxygen to the exercising muscles and to remove carbon dioxide, while maintaining blood flow to vital organs. The chapter explains how the cardiovascular system matches the blood flow to skeletal muscle to its metabolic rate. It also analyszes two circuits of the cardiovascular system that are arranged both in parallel and in series: pulmonary circuit and systemic circuit. The chapter explains that the pulmonary circuit conducts blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs and back to the left side of the heart. It clarifies how the systemic circuit conducts blood from the left side of the heart to all the tissues in the body and back to the right side of the heart.
The cell cycle
Jorrit M. Enserink, Helene Knævelsrud, and Joseph M. Robertson
This chapter highlights the basic mechanism and regulation of the cell cycle. It defines the cell cycle as the ordered series of events that lead to duplication of the chromosomes and other cellular components, followed by cell division. The chapter emphasizes that the cell cycle is made up of four stages: G1, S phase, G2, and M phase. G1, S phase, and G2 constitute the cycle phase called interphase. The genetic material of a cell is replicated in S phase (DNA synthesis), and M phase involves partitioning of the cell and genome. The chapter then introduces the cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), the main players in the cell cycle. It also investigates the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of the cell cycle. Next, it describes specific mutations that affect the cell cycle and play a role in carcinogenesis. It also discusses therapeutic strategies that target molecules of the cell cycle.
This chapter considers T-cell responses that do not involve B-cells and antibodies. It begins with examining the points of resemblance of the activation of macrophages by CD4 (helper) T-cells to the activation of B-cells, then explores the CD8 (cytotoxic) T-cell response. The chapter argues that both involve the selection and expansion of clones of effector cells from a tiny number of precursors and both result in the long-term survival of a population of memory cells that ensure a more vigorous secondary response to the same pathogen. The chapter analyzes how T-cells become activated for these responses. Next, the chapter highlights a more drastic approach to kill both the virus and its host-cell with the help of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). It also elaborates on the t-cell memory and t-cell responses at mucosal surfaces.
Control of infectious disease: chemotherapy
This chapter examines the idea of using chemicals safely to attack microbes. It presents chemical substances which are used at four levels to kill pathogens: disinfectants, antiseptics, chemotherapy, and antibiotics. The chapter then shows that chemotherapy has been extremely successful against many bacteria, because their procaryotic structure offers several targets absent from eucaryotic cells. The chapter also elaborates on some antibacterial agents, highlighting the modern antibacterials such as the synthetic azo-dye sulphanilamide, the true antibiotics penicillin, and streptomycin. The chapter then shifts to investigate how antibiotic resistance can develop at several levels. It looks at the standard susceptibility test, biofilm, and bacterial interference. Next, the chapter analyzes the other problem with antibiotics, as with all drugs: toxicity. It then displays some of the effective drugs against eucaryotic infections.