Science Briefs

Why some coaches are more likely to go ballistic

A study by academics at England’s University of Leeds and Northumbria University found British coaches who were more focused on their own high standards and less interested in the opinions of others were significantly better at controlling feelings of anger than those who were very focused on others’ opinions of their performance.

The researchers surveyed 238 coaches across a wide range of sports including soccer, rugby, hockey, netball, swimming and horse riding. Most of the coaches were involved in amateur sport. Their average age was 24.

The results show that those with “high personal standards of perfectionism” – who set their own high standards and focused less on other people’s evaluations – were relatively good at regulating their emotions. They showed more ability to reappraise negative feelings and see situations in a more constructive manner.

The findings are published online in the journal Motivation and Emotion.

Human ‘hairless’ gene identified

A research report in the April 2014 issue of The FASEB (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) Journal explains why people with a rare balding condition called “atrichia with papular lesions” lose their hair, and it identifies a strategy for reversing the hair loss. Specifically the report shows for the first time that the “human hairless gene” imparts an essential role in hair biology by regulating a subset of other hair genes. This newly discovered molecular function likely explains why mutations in the hairless gene contribute to the pathogenesis of atrichia with papular lesions. In addition, this gene also has also been shown to function as a tumor suppressor gene in the skin, raising hopes for developing new approaches in the treatment of skin disorders and some cancers.

Deadline is today for students’ STEM awards

Charlotte public television station WTVI this spring is rolling out its first regional STEM awards. Students have until April 7 to enter online. The competition is open to sixth- through 12th-graders in the area, whether they attend public or private school or are home-schooled. Students can enter individual or class projects in these categories: agricultural science, advanced manufacturing, bio-tech, energy, geospatial, IT, nanotechnology, healthcare, robotics or sports. Teachers can also be nominated for awards in these areas: Best STEM Integration, Most Innovative or Best Community Connection.

The judges – from Central Piedmont Community College’s STEM program – will also select the three student projects they find most outstanding for the People’s Choice award. Winners will be announced in front of a studio audience May 21 in CPCC’s Halton Theater. The ceremony will air May 22 at 8 p.m. on PBS Charlotte. Anyone can go to to vote for the project they like best.

All winners will receive engraved plaques/trophies. The awards ceremony will be May 21. Staff reports