RSA 2009: Stem Cells and Athletic Recruiting: Alcohol?

This morning, I attended a talk presented by the 2009 winner of the Young Investigator Award: Dr. Kim Nixon of the University of Kentucky.  In addition to serving as a consultant on our alcohol grant, Kim is involved with exciting, scary, and even controversial research; she investigates the effects of alcohol on adult neural stem cell activity. In fetal tissue, it has been repeatedly shown that alcohol interferes with the migration, proliferation (growth), differentiation (which cell type), and survival of cells. In adults, it appears alcohol exerts a similar effect. Though antidepressants such as exercise are neuroprotective against this neurodegeneration, this research is certainly exciting even in its infant stages.

During the poster sessions in the afternoon, I was appalled to learn that the “awesomeness” of a collegiate team’s party/social life is heavily factored into the decision of high school recruits! I almost want to mail a copy of the poster to my college coach since he has had difficulty with recruiting. 

Though there were certainly many other interesting posters on the role of stress hormones and cytokines in alcohol consummatory behavior, the following data of the day win for shock value.

I’m going out for a beer now (seriously), but perhaps I should exercise first…

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