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Bad week in sports medicine

Bad week in sports medicine

Then there are the weeks in sports where you think: “How can this stuff really happen?  Are people really this maniacal and self-serving?”  Unfortunately, there are times when your naivety is stripped and it really appears that even decisions about appropriate health-care for athletes are decided by incompetent idiots on power trips.  Two extensive investigative reports this week dealing with the health of football athletes show convincingly that unfortunately, this incompetence, greed, and po...
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Internal marijuana and runner's high

Internal marijuana and runner's high

Science always brings us new facts that challenge us and challenge our perceptions of the world. For example, over the past five years, we have begun to see research into a type of compound, produced by the body, that is probably responsible for what we know as the ‘runner’s high’. Most of us know that the ‘runner’s high’ is the euphoric feeling that occurs when you run, but it also occurs when you do any task that is physiologically difficult. Linked with the runner’s high are a wide a...
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Human Performance Goes to the Dogs

Human Performance Goes to the Dogs

As someone who studies human performance, from time to time I have people ask why scientists will test animals to understand human performance.  In most cases, it is because to continue to understand why humans can do what they do (and how we can train them to do ‘it’ better), we have to use models that allow us to do things that we can’t do in humans.  For example, my lab has a long-running set of experiments where we are looking at humans’ drive to be active.  Much of this drive probably o...
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Sports Medicine Goes to the Circus!

The Bryan/College Station area has its share of Circuses that come to town on a yearly basis.  Just in the last few months we’ve had several here ranging from the traditional animal-based Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus, to the high-flying Cirque du Soleil Dralion.  While we watch in awe, we often forget that both the animal and human performers in these shows are also athletes and that their performances are quite demanding both physically and mentally.  
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Amazing Things Happening in the Marathon

Amazing Things Happening in the Marathon

I’ve written here before about some of the championship demands of the modern-day marathon. For example, to just qualify for the US Olympic Marathon team, you would have had to run the 26.2 miles averaging 12.2 mph (that’s a mile every 4 minutes and 55 seconds). Sports Illustrated’s David Epstein – who visited College Station recently – has a new piece in the 4/16/12 edition of SI about the 2008 Olympic Marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru, who was found dead several months ago. I would highly...
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Ask Braun - Taking PEDs for Fame and Fortune

Ask Braun - Taking PEDs for Fame and Fortune

Why do elite athletes risk take performance enhancing drugs (PED, dope)?  This question continues to be raised in light of Ryan Braun’s case.  Braun supposedly tested with extremely high levels of synthetic testosterone.  While Braun appears to have gotten away with taking PED’s because the appeal of his positive PED test was upheld yesterday based on ‘chain of custody’ issues, he risked some tremendous penalties by taking PEDs.  At minimum, the official penalty was a 50-game suspension.  Pr...
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Scientific misconduct: It happens but is punished severely

Scientific misconduct: It happens but is punished severely

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes ran a piece on a Dr. A. Potti, a fairly renowned cancer researcher, who while at Duke University evidently manipulated his data so that his results would appear to better than they were.  There is no excusing this type of manipulation (or of data fabrication – which also happens in science as well), especially because it appears some cancer patients’ treatments may have been dictated by these flawed results.  But it leads to a bigger question: “Is scientific misco...
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From the Overreaction files: "Sleeping Can Kill!"

From the Overreaction files: "Sleeping Can Kill!"

“Hey…pssstt….Did you know that about 25% of people die in their sleep? Frankly this concerns me so much, I may not go to sleep again.” Faced with that statement, most of us would scoff and continue with our life. So, why do we get so excited about people that die after they exercise? Is exercise so dangerous that we should all resolve to never exercise again?
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Playing football with a brain injury.  Are you kidding?

Playing football with a brain injury. Are you kidding?

Having family in Cleveland, I watch the Browns play so I can at least sympathize with my long-suffering family who are all fans of the Browns. Maybe you caught the Brown’s Thursday night game on Dec. 8 against the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Steelers. This is and has been a huge rivalry game (at least for the Brown’s fans) and there was a lot of pride riding on it for the Browns. If you know the story, skip to the next paragraph…otherwise, let’s set-up the situation. Colt McCoy is the Brown’s ...
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Talking to the masses

Talking to the masses

Everyone talks about 'reaching the masses', but rarely do you have a chance to do so. At the Huffines Institute, we are thrilled because our local newspaper - The Eagle - has agreed to start porting the content from our website to their website to a new Health section. They are starting with this blog, and will gradually port over the other content over the next couple of months. I'm noting this because it is important that 'we' all talk - I'm using the universal '...
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