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Happy Birthday to a legend. One giant salutes another as Jerry Morris, the doyen of British exercise epidemiology, celebrates his 90th birthday and Ralph Paffenbarger reflects on his lifetime contribution (page 217). From opposite sides of the world they will be linked forever by their dedication to a common theme and research excellence. Two masters in sports medicine. True pioneers.
New frontiers in sport and exercise medicine will be at molecular level as we struggle to solve some of the mysteries of cellular metabolism. We are still learning why moderate exercise can improve immune function, yet excessive exercise may be harmful (page 161). The relationship between exercise, cancer, and the body's natural defence mechanism is closely linked too, and there is some evidence that physical activity may enhance that protective effect. Exercise may even have a place in cancer treatment, but cancer is more associated with suffering than with sport, so that the cancer athlete takes us completely by surprise when Dimeo reminds us of last year's sporting heroes (page 160). Cellular manipulation is another brave new world. It has outstanding therapeutic potential but awesome potential for abuse (page 159). Sometimes the parallels between sport and science are uncanny, with every new achievement a step into the unknown.
New research in sports injury reflects the evolution of the discipline. Stress fractures are familiar in many sports but new sports with high impact change the pattern of injury (page 195). We see new patterns of injury from epidemiological studies in Australia (page 188) and new perspectives on physiology in adolescents (pages 168, 200, and 213).
New sports seldom catch on as quickly as the humble Frisbee but even the Frisbee would be embarrassed at this put-down. Few readers, however, will be surprised at this comment about sports medicine (page 212). Next time anyone doubts the new advances, scientific rigour of research, or achievements in sport and exercise medicine of the last 50 years, smile nicely and send them a copy of this issue.