Category Archive: Science Rules

When It Comes to Athletics, Chemistry is the Real MVP

Friday night lights are soon to be ablaze as schools across the nation welcome the return of their students – and fall sports. And although the jock-verses-nerd plot will surely continue to have a home in popular culture, our student athletes owe much of their safety to chemistry. High school football players suffer roughly 1 concussion per 1,000 games and practices, making helmet safety a top priority. New helmet designs developed in the last decade often make use of a flexible polycarbonate shell that surrounds different types of shock-absorbing plastic. One design by a team of mechanical engineers at the University of Michigan uses an elastic-like plastic to absorb...

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What’s the Worst that Could Happen If We Ditch Vaccines?

Last month, researchers with Stanford and Baylor Universities answered “what could go wrong?” if parents in the U.S. broadly gave in to the anti-science rhetoric of the anti-vaccination movement. The researchers used data on real measles outbreaks monitored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a mathematical model predicting how many children would contract measles if fewer and fewer parents choose to vaccinate their children. The authors estimate that even a 5 percent decline in the number of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) shots issued could result in three times as many measles cases every year. Those in...

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