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Ashley Yeager

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Science Ticker

Even with rest, brain changes linked to football linger

Repeated helmet impacts have been linked to changes in the white matter of some football players' brains. The changes lingered even after six months of no-contact rest, which suggests that repeated hits over many seasons may lead to cumulative alterations, scientists say.

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The offseason may not allow enough time for football players' brains to heal from hard hits.

A new study looked at the brains and head impacts (an average of 431 to 1,850 per player per season) of 10 division III college football players. None of the players were diagnosed with a concussion. But images show that five of the athletes still had changes in their brains' white matter six months after the season ended, suggesting that any mild injury had not healed, researchers report April 16 in PLOS ONE.

The results also suggest that inflammation may contribute to whether players recover in the offseason and may provide another marker for doctors to use to determine when a player can get back in the game.

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Paleontology

Early meat-eater may have led to larger plant-eaters

By Ashley Yeager 3:06pm, April 17, 2014
The newly identified Eocasea martini may have set the stage for later, much larger animals to become plant-eaters.
Genetics,, Human Development

Down’s syndrome goes beyond chromosome 21

By Ashley Yeager 6:20pm, April 16, 2014
A genetic analysis suggests that the DNA changes linked to Down's syndrome happen on all chromosomes, not just the 21st.
Paleontology,, Animals

Fish gill fossils gnaw at ideas of jaw evolution

By Ashley Yeager 1:45pm, April 16, 2014

Bony fishes, not modern sharks, may provide a better understanding of the earliest jawed animals and the evolution of the jaw itself.

Quantum Physics

Excitons' motions captured in images

By Ashley Yeager 12:45pm, April 16, 2014
Scientists have observed how quasiparticles called excitons move.
Planetary Science,, Astronomy

Saturn may be getting a new moon

By Ashley Yeager 2:36pm, April 15, 2014
An icy object within Saturn's rings may be a new moon in the making.
Genetics

Modern hunter-gatherers' guts host distinct microbes

By Ashley Yeager 12:27pm, April 15, 2014
A healthy collection of gut bacteria depends on the environment in which people live and their lifestyle, research shows.
Clinical Trials,, Biomedicine,, Health

Hepatitis C treatment appears extremely effective

By Ashley Yeager 12:24pm, April 14, 2014
A mix of four medications has provided the most effective way to date to counter the hepatitis C virus in humans.
Cells,, Genetics

How cells keep from popping

By Ashley Yeager 2:43pm, April 11, 2014
The protein SWELL1 stops cells from swelling so much that they burst, a new study shows.
Earth

Huge space rock rattled Earth 3 billion years ago

By Ashley Yeager 12:28pm, April 10, 2014
An asteroid almost as wide as Rhode Island may have plowed into Earth 3.26 billion years ago, leaving its mark in South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt.
Microbiology,, Microbes

Amoebas’ munching may cause diarrheal disease

By Ashley Yeager 5:20pm, April 9, 2014
Amoebas biting and swallowing pieces of human cells may be what causes amebic dysentery, a potentially fatal diarrheal disease in the developing world.
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