football player on bended knees

DAILY DOSE: Expert group muddies the waters linking sports concussions with long-term negative health effects; Swiss divided over climate change.

An expert committee has recommended the end of most types of bodychecking in youth ice hockey and advocated for other changes to prevent and treat sports-related concussions. The panel, known as the Concussion in Sport Group (CISG), funded by the International Olympic Committee and other sports federations, published its sixth consensus statement in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The statement calls for banning bodychecking in most youth ice hockey and supporting universal mouthguards for children and adolescents in the sport. It also recommends expanding warm-up neuromuscular training exercises for reducing concussions in rugby and limiting contact practice in American football. The panel addressed the long-term health effects of repeated concussions but concluded that no causative links have been established. Some researchers criticize the panel for ignoring evidence and lacking diverse representation. (Science)

Switzerland is holding a referendum on a draft climate law that aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 after a previous attempt was rejected for being too costly. The new proposal, backed by the Swiss government and three of the country’s four main parties, plans to allocate $3.2 billion CHF from the general budget over ten years to incentivize businesses and consumers to transition to renewable energy sources. However, the right-wing people’s party (SVP), the leading parliamentary force and part of the ruling coalition, opposes the law. Recent polls show around 56% support for the law, which is considered the minimum necessary to address Switzerland’s warming climate and its consequences, such as melting glaciers. The law is seen as a step forward by its supporters, but some argue that it does not go far enough. (Reuters)

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A recent study involving intentional infection with SARS-CoV-2 has provided valuable insights into viral transmission. The study, known as a “challenge study,” deliberately infected volunteers with the virus that causes COVID-19, raising ethical concerns but also offering important data on public health questions. The findings demonstrate that some individuals, called “supershedders,” release significantly higher amounts of the virus into the air than others. The study reveals the wide variation in disease severity and contagiousness among individuals, making the virus difficult to control. It also suggests that human physiology, rather than the virus itself, contributes to the inconsistency of COVID-19. Rapid tests used by the participants proved effective in controlling viral spread. Despite some limitations, the study provides useful information and researchers plan to conduct similar studies with more recent variants. (Nature)

Archaeologists have discovered a pre-Hispanic mummy in Lima, Peru, near the practice field of a professional soccer club. The skeleton was found lying face up with its lower extremities bound by a rope made from vegetable vines and surrounded by stones. The burial was on top of a destroyed clay temple, and coca leaves and seashells were part of the ritual. The age of the mummy has not been determined yet, as it has not undergone radiocarbon dating. The area where the mummy was found is a “huaca,” a sacred place, and is among the more than 400 such sites in Lima. Mummies and other pre-Hispanic remains have been discovered in unexpected locations throughout the city. (Associated Press)

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

WORDS: The Biology Guy. (@thebiologyguy)

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