Sports Science

If you liked FoxTrax, that glowing hockey puck shooting around the ice during NHL games, you will love what engineers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Electro-Communications (UEC) in Tokyo have done: they put a camera inside a football.

The camera is embedded in the side of a rubber-sheathed plastic foam football can record video while the ball is in flight. Want a ball's-eye view of the playing field? Now you have it. But because a football can spin at 600 rpm, the raw video is an unwatchable blur so the researchers also developed a computer algorithm that converts the raw video into a stable, wide-angle view.


Surveys show that the most frequent turning point in father-daughter relationships is shared activities — especially sports. Participating with daughters in sports is even ahead of such pivotal events as when a daughter marries or leaves home, according to a Baylor University scholars.


The National Football League is facing lawsuits by 4,000 former players who allege the organizations failed to protect them from the long-term consequences of concussions.

A psychologist that consulted with the Montreal Canadiens hockey team and treated players with concussions for 15 years undertook research into the effects of concussions on children and young athletes as well as older athletes. 

To study the effects of concussions,
Dr. Maryse Lassonde, a neuropsychologist and the scientific director of the Quebec Nature and Technologies Granting Agency
had athletes perform specific visual and auditory tasks and also mapped their brains with the help of EEG and MRI equipment, in addition to testing brain chemistry.


It’s curious, all the press attention lavished on this recent article1 in Jour. Evolutionary Biology.

Noting the differing proportions of human hands versus those of other primates, Michael Morgan and David Carrier of the University of Utah concluded human hands are better suited for making fists. They wondered whether this confers an evolutionary advantage.

Dance is a beautiful form of expression, but it can be physically taxing and strenuous on the human body, particularly for children and adolescents.

According to a new analysis, between 1991 and 2007 the annual number of dance-related injuries increased 37 percent, from 6,175 to 8,477 injuries. Sprains and/or strains were the most common types of dance-related injuries at 52 percent, with falls (45 percent) being the most common causes of injuries. 


Two new studies look for ways to improve surgical treatment for a debilitating condition called  neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, which is caused by compressed nerves in the neck and shoulder and causes pain, numbness or tingling in the shoulder, arm or hand.

It is most common in baseball pitchers and other elite athletes. Patients often describe pain and tension in the neck and upper back, numbness and tingling in the fingers, headaches and perceived muscle weakness in the affected limb.


People lose muscle mass, and find it harder to maintain, as they age, and so researchers have ben investigating ways to delay or counteract age-related muscle loss.

A study conducted by the Exercise Metabolism Research Group at McMaster University suggests that current guidelines for meat consumption are based on the protein needed to prevent deficiency without consideration for preservation of muscle mass, particularly for older individuals who are looking to maintain their muscle as they age. 


You may not ever carve out time to go to the gym but a new review by social psychologists suggests the health benefits of small amounts of activity in two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of physical exercise achieved by a trip to the gym.


Even cutting your own vegetables rather than buying them pre-cut counts.

The analysis of over 6,000 American adults found that an active lifestyle approach seemed to be as beneficial as structured exercise in improving health outcomes, including preventing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is going to take the field in two hours and it won't just be a vindication of the decision by coach Jim Harbaugh to replace Alex Smith and his 13-3 run with a passer rating over 100 - Harbaugh can't lose in the eyes of the public even if the team does - it will be a vindication of science.

Researchers have created a device which potentially can see one molecule though a simple optical system and can analyze its components within minutes. It uses plasmonics, the study of vibrations of electrons in different materials, and could allow for rapid and more accurate drug testing for professional athletes because it could detect the presence of even trace amounts of a substance.

It could also be used at airports or other high-security locations to prevent would-be terrorists from concealing explosives or traffickers from smuggling drugs.