4 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2018
    1. The truth is, none of us are born scientists. When we say "children are natural scientists", what we mean is that they're naturally inquisitive and willing to experiment in ways adults are generally trained out of. We have to be taught to channel that inquisitiveness into productive pathways, both in STEM and non-STEM fields. And we have to do a helluva lot better at not reinforcing the message that scientists are intrinsically smarter than non-scientists, and that only the geniuses can do science.
  2. Jul 2017
    1. By the end of his research, Leclaire was left in no doubt. For him, “athletic performance is largely determined by genetics and specifically ACTN3, the so-called ‘sprint gene’”. The ACTN3 was discovered for the first time by a team of Australian researchers in 2003. It is a gene present in all humans in two forms, either the RR form which helps speed, or the RX form which aids endurance. “Since its discovery, a lot of research has shown that the RR form of the gene gives those who hold it explosive muscle power when the body is put under a certain amount of physical stress, so it’s a natural predisposition for sprinters,” Leclaire explained. “If you had a weak form of ACTN 3, it would be impossible to match the great sprinters,” he said. Leclaire concluded that the genes favourable for sprinting are more commonly found in those of West African origin. There are exceptions, of course, which explains how French sprinter Lemaitre has been able to compete in the same class as the likes of Bolt and fellow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake. “Lemaitre posesses the same genetic combinations that you find in most of the athletes of West African origin. He is the exception that confirms the rule,” Leclaire said. East Africa, by contrast, is the land of the long-distance runner. Author John Entine believes genetics also explains the continuing supremacy of Kenya’s runners in long distance races. “They are short and slender with huge natural lung capacity and a preponderance of slow twitch muscles, the energy system for endurance sports,” Entine wrote on the website blackathlete.net. “It’s a perfect biomechanical package for long-distance running but a disaster for sports that require anaerobic bursts of speed.”
    2. The director of the Copenhagen Muscle Research Institute, Bengt Saltin, believes an athlete's “environment” can account for 20 to 25 percent of his speed, but that the rest is down to birth.
  3. Oct 2013