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  • November 15th, 2021

BEST BETS 

UA STUDY: AVOID TRAVEL AFTER DARK DURING THANKSGIVING WEEK — A study of Thanksgiving week vehicle crash data from the past five years in Alabama shows travel after dark increases risk for crashes and fatalities, leading to the conclusion that, if possible, all modes of transportation should be avoided after the sun goes down. Fatal crashes in darkness are over three times their daylight hour expectation during the week of Thanksgiving, caused by factors such as driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs and driving too fast for nighttime conditions. Delayed response of first responders at night in rural areas is also a factor for the increased fatal crashes, according to the UA study. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu. 

BEAT AUBURN BEAT HUNGER — The University of Alabama’s annual food drive competition against Auburn University wraps up Thursday, Nov. 18.  The total amount of donations will be revealed at the West Alabama Food Bank, 3160 McFarland Blvd., Northport, at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19. For more information, contact Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, UA Strategic Communications, at caroline.mckenzie@ua.edu.

UA, UAB PARTNER WITH NIH TO STUDY HEALTHY CHILD BRAIN DEVELOPMENT – A diverse and multidisciplinary team of researchers at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and The University of Alabama was awarded a $7.1 million NIH grant over five years to conduct a comprehensive study of risk and protective factors for healthy brain development in children. Participants will be enrolled from a diverse urban and rural population across the state of Alabama as part of a 25-site national consortium. For more information, contact Adam Jones, UA Strategic Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu. 

ALABAMA’S RICH CULTURE, HISTORY TOLD ON MURAL TRAIL THROUGHOUT THE STATE – The Alabama Mural Trail encourages tourists and locals alike to explore the state’s rich culture and history through public art. UA’s Center for Economic Development in partnership with the Ala-Tom RC&D Council, the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association and the Alabama Tourism Department, is spearheading the project to create a greater sense of community, drive economic impact and bring people together. For more information, contact Jamon Smith, UA Strategic Communications, at jamon.smith@ua.edu. 

CURRENT COMMENT 

Sleepy after eating your Thanksgiving meal? Don’t blame the turkey. – Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey, has gotten a bad reputation for being the reason we want to nap after eating a large Thanksgiving meal. And while tryptophan does play a role in helping to induce the sleep-wake cycle, Dr. Adam Knowlden, associate professor of health science in UA’s College of Human Environmental Sciences, says it may not be the turkey’s fault that you feel sleepy. “Unless you’re deficient in it nutritionally, it’s probably not going to make much of a difference.” Knowlden says the desire to take a nap probably comes from all of the other carbohydrate-rich foods we consume like mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie, which cause an insulin spike in our bodies. Knowlden also believes that just celebrating the holiday where people can destress could also be a reason for feeling sleepy. For an interview, contact Knowlden at aknowlden@ches.ua.edu. 

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The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.