Rugby and the brain

BBC Inside Science

By BBC Radio 4

Rugby and the brain

Thursday, 2 September

Victoria Gill talks to Professor Damian Bailey who's leading research at the University of South Wales into the potential risks to brain health in contact sports players, from impacts to the head and body sustained during play. His latest study found that over the course of a 31 game season, the brains of members of a professional rugby union team underwent measurable changes, particularly the forward players who sustained most tackles, knocks and falls. The findings may help to identify why professional players of some contact sports are at an increased risk of dementia later in life. Also in the programme: How food waste may help with the development of a more sustainable generation of batteries, with Imperial College chemist Magda Titirici. Professor Titirici was awarded this year's Kavli Medal by the Royal Society for her research on new sustainable energy materials. The bones of people who died in 79 AD during the eruption of Vesuvius have revealed in extraordinary detail what the citizens of Herculaneum ate, and how the diets of men differed from those of women in the town. With bioarchaeologist Oliver Craig of the University of York. How the babbling of baby bats is comparable to babbling in human babies. Both are about learning the skills of communication, according to zoologist Ahana Fernandez of the Museum of Natural History in Berlin.
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