In this video from The Guardian, researchers slice into the brain of former NFL player Dave Duerson.
Duerson struggled with the mental health effects of football-related brain injury, finally killing himself in February of this year. Before he died, he asked that his brain be donated to an organization known as the "NFL Brain Bank," where researchers the brains of deceased sports stars to study what happens to people when their heads are struck over and over and over again.
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy – a research facility so clunkily named that it's unsurprising Duerson used a semi-accurate abbreviation, "the NFL's brain bank" – sits in the pleasantly green and airy grounds of the Bedford VA medical centre in Massachusetts, about an hour's drive outside Boston. It was set up three years ago by concerned former athletes who joined forces with Boston University scientists to grapple with the long-term effects of concussions on sportsmen and women, soldiers and other people subjected to brain injuries.
In this morgue the world's largest bank of athletes' brains is being stored on dry ice. It has grown exponentially in the past couple of years to include 75 brains, mostly of American football players but also of hockey enforcers – the tough guys who do the bare-knuckle fighting – and of former soldiers caught in bomb blasts. A further 400 living athletes have promised to donate their brains upon death, including some of the biggest names in their sports. They include "Irish" Micky Ward, the boxer played by Mark Wahlberg in the film The Fighter, and American footballers Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens), Lofa Tatupu (Seattle Seahawks) and Sean Morey (Arizona Cardinals).
(Via Brian Malow
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]