Better detection of concussion in young football players

For their study, Christian Duval’s team performed a dual-task assessment using simultaneous biomechanical and cognitive tests to evaluate the players every week. Thanks to a markerless motion capture system, this approach let them establish a unique profile for each person in just seven minutes and detect signs of concussion in a player before the medical team could. Developing such a fast and effective test is critical, as repeated impact on the young brain over time leaves damage similar to that caused by dementia.

“We had the players walk while avoiding obstacles and while executing cognitive tasks. The combination of these two results established each individual’s personal signature. Our measurements let us quickly detect concussion symptoms that could go unnoticed by health care professionals or by the young athletes themselves. The test we developed also simulates game situations, because in football, players are stimulated both physically and intellectually,” explained Christian Duval.

In a sport in which many concussions go undetected, this approach could help health care professionals to not only better detect these brain injuries but also systematically monitor all players during the season to detect or monitor those who sustain a concussion to determine when they are ready to get back out on the field.

Coaches can be a strong influence in preventing football injuries, say researchers

“With an estimated three million youth aged 7 to 14 years old playing tackle football each year, preventing injuries is key. Our study showed that kids who received a comprehensive education from a coach had fewer injuries,” said lead author Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, MPH of the Datalys Center for Injury Research and Prevention.

Kerr and his team had athletic trainers evaluate and track injuries at each practice and game during the 2014 football season. Players were drawn from four states, including Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts and South Carolina. Athletes were divided into three education groups: no coach education program (NHUF) (704 players), Heads-Up education and Pop Warner affiliation (HUF-PW) (741 players) and Heads-Up Only players (HUF) (663). The Heads-Up Football coaching education program was developed by USA Football and the Pop Warner Football program instituted guidelines to restrict contact during practice.

A total of 370 injuries were reported during 71,262 athlete exposures. Individuals in the HUF-PW and HUF groups had lower practice injury rates compared to those in the NHUF with 0.97/1000 athlete exposures and 2.73/1000 athlete exposures, respectively, versus 7.32/1000 exposures. The game injury rate for the NHUF group was 13.42/1000 athlete exposures while the HUF-PW was 3.42/1000 athlete exposures. The game rates in the HUF and NHUF groups did not differ. Higher injury rates were typically found in those aged 11 to 15 years compared to those 5 to 10 years old. However, stronger effects related to Heads-Up education and Pop Warner affiliation were seen in the older group. The research was recently published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Our findings support the need for additional coaching education and practice contact restrictions. Future research should look at how different programs work at various levels of competition and sports,” said Kerr.

What is there to see and do in Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda (c) Fairmont Southampton

With its pink sands and golden sunsets, Bermuda is one of the world’s truly undiscovered treasures. What’s more, this island paradise, which is only 21 miles long and lies in the middle of the north Atlantic, will play host to the 35th America’s Cup next summer after seeing off stiff competition from New York and San Francisco.

So, what better time to arrange a combined visit to see the world’s elite sailors up close and discover Bermuda’s enchanted shores?

With its mix of British, American and Afro-Caribbean culture, history and tradition, Bermuda makes for a culturally rich holiday destination.

As a British Overseas Territory, it has its own British governor and cricket is the national sport. The Queen even came to visit to mark the island’s 400th birthday back in 2009.

But given its proximity to the US East Coast and the key role it played in the American Civil War, it also has a strong American influence.

There’s plenty to do from sailing in its turquoise waters and playing a round on one its seven golf courses to relaxing in a luxury spa resort or fine dining at one of its many high-end restaurants.

Aside from its immediate charm, Bermuda also has some well-kept secrets including old smugglers’ coves, underground caves and wild nature trails just waiting to be discovered.

Places to visit

The capital Hamilton is a good base to explore the rest of the island with its array of art galleries, parks and cathedrals.

Among the pick are the splendid Bermuda National Gallery at City Hall & Arts Centre, Sessions House, where the House of Assembly sits, and Fort Hamilton, from where you can get the best views of the city.

Outside the city, the Botanical Gardens offer some respite from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Within its grounds, Camden House, the official residence of Bermuda’s Premier, and the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, home to more than 1,200 exhibits, are also well worth a visit.

St George’s, in the island’s far east, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site steeped in old world charm with its narrow streets and alleyways scattered with quaint old souvenir shops and restaurants.

St George’s, Bermuda (c) Fairmont Southampton

On the western side, the historic Royal Naval Dockyard is dominated by the imposing Commissioner’s House, while the impressive National Museum of Bermuda and Dockyard Glassworks are other must-sees.

For a panoramic view of the island, head to the top of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse in Southampton Parish.

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda

If you fancy a different perspective, make a beeline for the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute in Hamilton to learn about the Bermuda Triangle and historic shipwrecks off the island’s coast.

Activities and attractions

Given its location, sailing is the sport of choice in Bermuda. To get on the water, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club runs sailing courses from £110 per person.

With one of the highest concentrations of golf courses per square mile in the world, there’s a different course to play every day of the week.

Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton is the island’s official PGA course, when it was last played in Bermuda in 2014, but the Mid-Ocean Golf Club in Tucker’s Town and Tucker’s Point Golf Club are excellent alternatives.

For walkers, the old Railway Trail, which was shut down in 1948 and spans the length of the island, is a delight with its old hill forts and lookouts to explore, not to mention the spectacular sea views.

There’s also a host of rocky coves and sweeping bays to navigate by boat or kayak, as well as shipwrecks for scuba diving.

Deeper underground, Crystal Cave and Fantasy Cave in Hamilton Parish with their amazing rock formations, and the former with its 55-feet deep sapphire-bottomed lagoon, are perfect to explore on a hot day.

Crystal Cave, Bermuda

Hidden Gems runs various adventure activities including a trek through Tom Moore’s Jungle to explore caves, cave swimming and cliff-jumping. Tours start at £113 per person.

For the gentler pursuit of bird watching, the 34-acre Spittal Pond Nature Reserve in Smith’s Parish is a great place to ramble with its woodland trails and pond that’s home to a vast selection of migratory birds.

After an exhausting day, it’s time to hit the beach. There are no fewer than 34 to choose from, the pick of which is Horseshoe Bay in Southampton.

Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Then it’s off for a couples massage at the idyllic setting of Cambridge Beaches in Sandy’s Parish.

Why not stay for dinner by candlelight on the beach with only your nearest and dearest for company?

Places to eat

With its well-heeled visitors and well-travelled business community, Bermuda has a world-class dining scene with everything from local Bermudian fare to the finest international cuisine.

Mickey’s Bistro & Bar is one of the most romantic settings, sitting on Elbow Beach and eating freshly-caught seafood, cocktail in hand as you watch the sun go down.

For those who prefer the bright city lights, Red Steakhouse and Bar has an extensive wine list, as well as a VIP balcony overlooking Hamilton harbour.

Heritage Court at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club is the perfect spot for afternoon tea, with a vast choice of finger sandwiches, scones, pastries and 14 types of tea.

Places to stay

From local guesthouses to five-star hotels, Bermuda has every kind of accommodation for the discerning visitor.

The Hamilton Princess has rooms from £520 per person during the America’s Cup in May and June.
The Fairmont Southampton has rooms from £628 per person during May and June.
Further out, Cambridge Beaches has rooms from £585 per person (based on a seven night minimum stay) between May 25 and June 28.

Read also our review of the Coco Reef Bermuda

Hotel Review: Coco Reef Resort, Bermuda

Getting there/getting around

Two hours away from the US East Coast and seven hours from London, Bermuda is easy to get to.

British Airways flies from London Gatwick daily in the summer. American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United Airlines, US Airways and all fly from the US.

Oleander Cycles rents scooters from £35 per person per day.

Game theorists devise ‘catch-up rule’ to make sports contests more competitive, and exciting, to watch

The rule seeks to give equally skilled players and teams the same probability of winning a game they have under under existing rules — collectively called the Standard Rule by the researchers — while keeping scores closer throughout the competition and thereby increasing the drama and tension of a close contest.

The Catch-Up Rule was devised by New York University’s Steven Brams, Maastricht University’s Mehmet Ismail, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Marc Kilgour, and Swarthmore College’s Walter Stromquist.

In general, the Catch-Up Rule gives the serve to the player who has lost the previous point — as opposed to the player who won the previous point, as is now done under the Standard Rule. This provides the loser of a previous point the opportunity to catch up, which makes the game more competitive and exciting to watch. But compared with the present Standard Rule, it neither helps nor hurts either player to win.

Their plan relies on both probability and game theory.

In the work, the researchers mathematically show that the Catch-Up Rule not only gives the same probability of winning as the Standard Rule in best-of series (for example, a best-of-15 series, wherein the first player to win 8 points is victorious), but it also ensures that the scores of the players remain close throughout the game: A win-win situation for both players and spectators.

“Unlike most service sports, table tennis and tennis have service rules that fix who serves and for how long,” the researchers say. “The tennis tiebreaker is fair in the sense of precluding a player from winning simply because he or she has had more serves than an opponent, whereas the table tennis tiebreaker favors the first server.”

In service sports such as tennis, volleyball, badminton, and squash, rules have changed over time, which suggests that the respective associations are open to innovation.

“We first discussed this with regard to our study on soccer penalty shootouts,” says Ismail, “and we realized that especially in soccer, FIFA has been traditionally conservative towards implementing more modern rules. We never even tried to contact them. But now that Marco Van Basten, who is reported to be progressive and open to innovation and new ideas, has been appointed as chief officer for technical development at FIFA, we hope the situation will change and FIFA will be more open to listening to our arguments.”

Key protein in prostate cancer energy production identified

Mitochondria are known as the powerhouse of the cells because of their role in energy production, and in recent years, research has shown that different tumors are able to manipulate genes and proteins responsible for energy production in order to help them survive.

TRAP1 is a chaperone protein that is structurally similar to heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), which is found in larger amounts in the mitochondria of cancer cells. In a prior study, Dario C. Altieri, M.D., president and CEO of The Wistar Institute, director of The Wistar Institute Cancer Center, the Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professor, and colleagues bred mice with the TRAP1 protein “knocked out” to determine what impact it may have on disease. These special mice lived longer and experienced fewer age-related illnesses, suggesting that the protein played an important role in disease.

“In our prior study, while we had evidence that hinted at TRAP1’s role in tumor growth, we lacked the direct evidence we needed to define the role of this protein in prostate cancer development,” Altieri said. “As we better understand the role of mitochondria in cancer, it’s important to thoroughly study the roles of the proteins involved in helping tumors receive the energy they desire for survival.”

In this study, instead of removing the TRAP1 protein, the Altieri laboratory generated mice with the TRAP1 protein overexpressed. Additionally, the mice were bred to lose one copy of the PTEN gene, which is an important tumor suppressor gene. At least one copy of PTEN is deleted in about 40 percent of cases of prostate cancer and is often found in more aggressive tumors, so mice without this gene more accurately simulate the behavior of the disease.

The combination of increased TRAP1 coupled with the loss of PTEN resulted in aggressive, early-onset invasive prostate cancer, according to the study. Altieri and colleagues found increased tumor cell proliferation, inhibition of apoptosis (a form of programmed cell death that is thought to halt the progression of tumor cells), and increased epithelial cell invasion. These findings suggest that TRAP1 has a role in promoting the mitochondrial “fitness” of a prostate tumor, making it more aggressive and less responsive to treatment.

“What is exciting about these findings is the fact that we believe TRAP1 is a druggable target,” Altieri said. “We are continuing to advance our promising research and development program aimed at targeting the mitochondria in tumors.”

9 hotel rooms around the world with amazing views

1Oliver’s Travels, Tamarind House, St Lucia

Oliver’s Travels, Tamarind House, St Lucia

Made from local stone with high greenheart ceilings, and Barbados tiled floors, this exceptionally large Caribbean house offers the rare luxury of space, privacy and sensational views of the Pitons. The 640sqft master bedroom is furnished with a beautiful antique king size four-poster bed, a hand carved standing cheval mirror and private terrace. From the bed, the view of Piton is framed by bougainvillea climbing up the stone walls. The main house has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, while the separate cottage is the master bedroom suite with its own living room, kitchen, dressing area, marble bathroom, and terrace.

Prices start from £3,145 per week.


Injury prevention programs not widely used in high school

Researchers surveyed 66 head soccer and basketball coaches from 15 Oregon high schools and found that only 21 percent of the coaches were using an injury prevention program, and less than 10 percent were using the program exactly as designed, said the study’s lead author, Marc Norcross, an assistant professor of exercise and sport science in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

“We know these programs are beneficial to the athletes,” Norcross said. “If I were to recommend something to coaches, it would be to adopt one of these programs and follow it.”

In 2013-14, more than 1.7 million students competed in high school soccer and basketball in the United States. During that period, about 335,000 of the athletes had a lower extremity injury that required medical attention and kept them from participating for at least one day.

The more serious injuries, such as an ACL tear, can require months of recovery and rehabilitation and can lead to early onset of arthritis. But even minor injuries such as an ankle sprain can have significant consequences, Norcross said. Ankle sprains, for example, increase the risk of arthritis developing in the joint.

Injury prevention programs are designed to help reduce lower extremity injuries that occur during play or practice but aren’t as a result of contact with another player. Among the better known-programs are PEP, developed by the Santa Monica Sports Medicine Foundation; and FIFA 11+, developed in conjunction with the world soccer organization.

2 minute travel guide to Spitsbergen, Norway


The island is served by Svalbard airport, which lies in the ‘capital’, Longyearbyen. The best way to get around and see its unique arctic wildlife is by boat in summer, and there is plenty of opportunity to do so with adventure sailing and expedition cruises available. With just 29 miles of road, in summer ships are the best way to explore and in winter snow mobiles and dog sledding are used to get around.

History and Culture

The islands were named Spitsbergen, meaning pointed mountains by the first ever European visitor. Although mainly populated by Norwegian and Russian settlements, it’s only one thousand and three hundred kilometres from the North Pole – providing an ideal starting point for many arctic explorers. It has a rich industrial history of coal mining particularly in the main town of Longyearbyen, named after its most famous coal mining entrepreneur.


Between late November and the end of February there is 24 hour darkness because of its location, but visitors can enjoy short skidoo and sledging trips. It’s during midsummer you have the prime opportunity to enjoy the incredible scenery under a midnight sun. With its incredible mountains, Fjords and glaciers it’s the perfect place to partake in arctic voyages and sailing expeditions. For the more adventurous traveller, your ship-based voyage can be complimented by kayaking, snow shoe walking, and even polar diving to fully take in these amazing surroundings.


Spitsbergen is the only populated place in the world to have more Polar bears than people

The landscape is made up of six national parks, which protects the fragile and untouched environment. With 3,000 polar bears, Spitsbergen is the only populated place in the world to have more Polar bears than people. The best time to see the wildlife is from June to September, when all are busy feeding, breeding and making the best of the summer. Highlights include whales, seals, walrus, reindeer, arctic fox, together with millions of migratory seabirds.


Due to Spitsbergen’s northern location and clear remote skies, you have the rare opportunity to view the magical Northern Lights. The best chance to see them is during the polar night when it’s dark for 24 hours a day.

Where to Sleep

⇒ More hotels…

Watch the Two Minute Travel Guide to Spitsbergen video

New way to defeat therapy-resistant prostate cancer

The study, led by TSRI Associate Professor Jun-Li Luo, was published online ahead of print in the journal Molecular Cell.

A New Strategy to Fight Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer — which, according to the American Cancer Society, affects one in six American men — is the second-leading cause of death after lung cancer in American men.

Currently, the most effective treatment for advanced prostate cancer is to deprive the cancer of what feeds it — androgen hormones, such as testosterone. Unfortunately, almost all patients eventually develop resistance to this therapy, leaving doctors with no options to counteract the inevitable.

The new study shows that a “constitutively active” signaling circuit can trigger cells to grow into tumors and drive therapy resistance in advanced prostate cancer. A cell signal pathway with constitutive activity requires no binding partner (ligand) to activate; instead, the signaling circuit continually activates itself.

This signaling circuit, which is composed of the protein complex IκBα/NF-κB (p65) and several other molecules, controls the expression of stem cell transcription factors (proteins that guide the conversion of genetic information from DNA to RNA) that fuel the aggressive growth of these resistant cancer cells.

“The fact that the constitutive activation of NF-kB in the circuit is independent of traditional activation opens the door for potential treatment options,” said Luo.

Targeting Other Signaling Components Shows Promise

NF-kB plays important roles in cancer development, and it is regarded as one of the most important targets for cancer therapy. However, the use of NF-kB inhibitors in treating cancer is complicated by severe side effects related to immunosuppression caused by indiscriminate inhibition of NF-kB in normal immune cells.

Luo noted that targeting the other non-IκBα/NF-κB components in this signaling circuit would avoid the suppression of NF-κB in normal immune cells while keeping the potent anti-cancer efficacy.

In addition to IκBα/NF-κB, the signaling circuit includes the microRNA miR-196b-3p, Meis2 and PPP3CC. While miR-196b-3p promotes tumor development, Meis2, which is an essential developmental gene in mammals, can disrupt the circuit when overexpressed. The protein PPP3CC can inhibit NF-κB activity in prostate cancer cells.

“Disrupting this circuit by targeting any of its individual components blocks the expression of these transcription factors and significantly impairs therapy-resistant prostate cancer,” said TSRI Research Associate Ji-Hak Jeong, the first author of the study.

Do second opinions matter in prostate cancer care?

Cancer societies encourage patients with cancer to obtain second opinions prior to starting treatment to help them understand their disease and to thoroughly weigh the risks and benefits of their options. Given the ongoing debate concerning whether prostate cancer patients are being overtreated, second opinions in this context are important because management options vary widely from surgery and radiation therapy to active surveillance programs. However, the study did not find that second opinions affected treatment among low-risk men — the most likely candidates for active surveillance — casting doubt on whether second opinions are sufficient to reduce overtreatment among this group.

Archana Radhakrishnan, MD, MHS, of Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, and her colleagues sought to assess the frequency of and reasons for second opinions for localized prostate cancer, and the characteristics of those who seek them. They also evaluated whether second opinions are associated with certain treatment choices or perceived quality of prostate cancer care.

The investigators surveyed men as part of the Philadelphia Area Prostate Cancer Access Study (P2 Access). A total of 2386 men who were newly diagnosed with localized prostate cancer in the greater Philadelphia area between 2012 and 2014 responded. Forty percent of men obtained second opinions, commonly because they wanted more information about their cancer (50.8 percent) and wanted to be seen by the best doctor (46.3 percent). Overall, obtaining second opinions was not linked with receiving definitive treatment or with perceived quality of cancer care.

Men who sought second opinions because they were dissatisfied with their initial urologist were 51 percent less likely to receive definitive treatment, and men who wanted more information about treatment were 30 percent less likely to report excellent quality of cancer care compared with men who did not receive a second opinion. Men who obtained second opinions because they wanted more information, were seeking the best doctor, or had been encouraged to by family or friends were more likely to ultimately receive surgery. The authors suggest this could indicate that for some men, second opinions represent a way to pursue the treatment they already plan on receiving, rather than to explore other treatment options

“Patients often report getting second opinions for prostate cancer. Their impact on care that patients receive remains uncertain,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan.