The Daily Dose: Female athletes more prone to concussions; the Voyager satellites keep on keepin’ on.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that female athletes are more prone to certain injuries than their male counterparts. Unfortunately, a lack of data— specifically large-scale studies— has hampered understanding. A recent study provides the first significant look at large-scale data. According to Nature, “Female soccer players are twice as likely to suffer concussion than their male counterparts, a study of more than 80,000 teenage players across US high schools has found. Researchers analysed survey data from around 43,000 male and 39,000 female players from schools in Michigan over three academic years. A striking difference emerged between the sexes in their likelihood of having a sports-related head injury, with the girls’ chance of concussion 1.88 times higher than the boys’, according to the findings published on 27 April in JAMA Network Open.” http://go.nature.com/3nymxo4


Recently, side effects to the covid-19 vaccine have been reported in Geographic clusters. As it turns out, it was all psychosomatic. According to the Associated Press,“It was anxiety — and not a problem with the shots — that caused reactions in dozens of people at coronavirus vaccine clinics in five states, U.S. health officials have concluded. Experts say the clusters detailed Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are an example of a phenomenon that’s been chronicled for decades from a variety of different vaccines. Basically, some people get so freaked out by injections that their anxiety spurs a physical reaction.” while it may have been in everyone’s head, it is a good reflection of how anxious people are before they get their vaccinations. http://bit.ly/3ubZ9iO

 


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Scientists have long wondered whether it is possible to have genetic material without the standard nucleic acids. Now, it seems they have their answer. According to Nature, “Alien’ genomes can be found on Earth. Some viruses that infect bacteria use an alternative genetic alphabet that’s distinct from the code used by nearly all other organisms — and, now, two teams have spelt out how the system works. More than four decades in the making, the studies show how dozens of these bacteriophages (or just ‘phages’), as they are known, write their genomes using a chemical base called 2-aminoadenine, Z for short, instead of adenine — the A in the As, Ts, Cs and Gs of genetics textbooks.” that is well and truly exciting stuff. http://go.nature.com/3vutMjy


And speaking of alien and amazing, the fact that the Voyager satellites are still going is a Wonder. But they keep chugging on like The Little Engine That Could. An article in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences takes a look at bordure 1 and Voyager 2. “Launched more than four decades ago, the two Voyager spacecraft keep expanding our horizons. Having flown past the giant planets in the late 1970s and 1980s, Voyagers 1 and 2 are now well beyond all their planetary targets, with Voyager 1 more than five times farther out than Neptune and Voyager 2 not far behind. “Every day is a new record for Voyager,” says the spacecraft’s project manager, Suzanne Dodd at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles, CA.” http://bit.ly/3xEU6cw

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Let’s be careful out there.


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