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Abstract

The polymorphic angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) gene was one of the first genetic elements to demonstrate a significant impact on human performance. Since then, it has been shown to play a role in coronary artery disease. The functional genetic alleles have been determined. The ACE phenotypes have been associated with improvements in athletic performance, endurance, as well as association with blood pressure variations. The I allele has been connected with endurance events, while the D allele is associated with strength and power athletic events, as well as coronary disease. The objectives for this study were twofold, first to provide a guided inquiry research experience for undergraduate students based on a topic in class, and second, to examine the ACE gene alleles present in five distinct populations: Men’s and Women’s hockey teams, elite (Olympic level) bobsledders, Ironman Triathletes, members of the college’s track team, and African American college students. The results showed significant differences (p<0.05) observed in the distribution of ACE genotype polymorphisms between the control group and both the men’s and women’s hockey teams, but not in the African American population and international bobsledders or track team members.

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