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Animals Nature Science

Studying woodpeckers is helping prevent brain trauma

“When you’re hit on the football field, parts of your brain may fizz like a just-opened can of soda.”

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#nature #birds #study #science #football #menatlhealth

“When you’re hit on the football field, parts of your brain may fizz like a just-opened can of soda.”

The brain released humans from the prison of biology.
So why do we do anything that damages our ability to think? Because of sports like football that entertain.

However, a new technology designed to mimic a woodpecker’s shock-absorbing beak may prevent football players from brain injury.

“It likely clinched its jugular vein with its long omohyoid muscle, protecting against brain slosh by filling its brain with blood.”

Scientists first theorized that increasing blood to the brain would help safeguard the head against collisions. Existing data revealed that playing football at higher altitudes generated fewer concussions. However, scientist Joseph Fisher thought he could still protect players’ brains without suffocating their oxygen. He went back to study the physiology of the woodpecker’s distinctive “omohyoid solution” for battling head trauma.

“forget CO2, Fisher thought. All you needed was to press lightly on the neck. Fisher bought a pair of headphones at an electronics store, bent the metal band a little, and placed them around his neck with the pads against his jugular veins.”

Naturally, scientists tested the hypothesis on rats by putting a neckband on them and forcing collisions. The neck-protected rats saw an “83 percent reduction in brain damage compared to rats that didn’t.” Scientists got approval to test a neck collar on high school football players.

“The kids who had worn the collar, on the other hand, saw significantly fewer changes. Their brains hadn’t suffered the same way. The findings were also replicated in hockey players. What worked for woodpeckers seemed to work for humans. A little extra blood in the skull swaddled the brain enough to reduce damage.”

In other words, squeezing the jugular sends just enough blood to the head to prevent brain injury and in the long-run, dementia caused by CTE. Astonishing, right? It makes you think why the NFL does not have an R&D department. The worst-case scenario? Figure out how to play American football using bubbles.

Categories
Culture & Society

Margaret Mead’s Sources of Insight

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who famously journeyed to American Samoa in 1925 to study adolescent behavior among the nonliterate peoples of Oceania.

Her book Coming of Age of Samoa is the result of her fieldwork.

Mead was also widely known for her progressive views on sex, providing a key spark on what would become the Sexual Revolution in the 1960s.

Below is a comprehensive list of her sources of insight for her social anthropology studies.

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who famously journeyed to American Samoa in 1925 to study adolescent behavior among the nonliterate peoples of Oceania.  Her book Coming of Age of Samoa is the result of her fieldwork. #study #culture

Famous Margaret Mead quotes:

Always remember you’re unique. Just like everybody else.

There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing…when we save our children, we save ourselves”

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.

Margaret Mead
Categories
Nature Science

Natural light prevents myopia

A report issued in Nature reveals that staying inside is the leading cause of myopia.

The finding refutes the myth that closeupness is the result of intense reading seasons and screen activity.

Outdoor light is beneficial to the eyes because it triggers the release of dopamine in the retina.

One myopia researcher recommends spending at least three hours a day in natural light, even if means sitting under a tree.

But what scientists really needed was a mechanism: something to explain how bright light could prevent myopia. The leading hypothesis is that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the retina, and this neurotransmitter in turn blocks the elongation of the eye during development. The best evidence for the ‘light–dopamine’ hypothesis comes — again — from chicks. In 2010, Ashby and Schaeffel showed that injecting a dopamine-inhibiting drug called spiperone into chicks’ eyes could abolish the protective effect of bright light 11 .