How Interest Rates, Credit Ratings, and Lending Affect You (Your Economic Future)

How Interest Rates, Credit Ratings, and Lending Affect You (Your Economic Future)

How Interest Rates, Credit Ratings, and Lending Affect You (Your Economic Future)

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Coaches Can Be a Strong Influence in Preventing Football Injuries, Say Researchers

Teaching coaches about injury prevention and contact restrictions pays off, say researchers who published their study in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine today. The authors, from the Datalys Center for Injury Research and Prevention, tracked injury rates among youth football players during the 2014 season.

“With an estimated three million youth aged 7 to 14 years old playing tackle football each year, preventing injuries is key. Our study showed that kids who received a comprehensive education from a coach had fewer injuries,” said lead author Zachary Y. Kerr, PhD, MPH of the Datalys Center for Injury Research and Prevention.

Kerr and his team had athletic trainers evaluate and track injuries at each practice and game during the 2014 football season. Players were drawn from four states, including Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts and South Carolina. Athletes were divided into three education groups: no coach education program (NHUF) (704 players), Heads-Up education and Pop Warner affiliation (HUF-PW) (741 players) and Heads-Up Only players (HUF) (663). The Heads-Up Football coaching education program was developed by USA Football and the Pop Warner Football program instituted guidelines to restrict contact during practice.

A total of 370 injuries were reported during 71,262 athlete exposures. Individuals in the HUF-PW and HUF groups had lower practice injury rates compared to those in the NHUF with 0.97/1000 athlete exposures and 2.73/1000 athlete exposures, respectively, versus 7.32/1000 exposures. The game injury rate for the NHUF group was 13.42/1000 athlete exposures while the HUF-PW was 3.42/1000 athlete exposures. The game rates in the HUF and NHUF groups did not differ. Higher injury rates were typically found in those aged 11 to 15 years compared to those 5 to 10 years old. However, stronger effects related to Heads-Up education and Pop Warner affiliation were seen in the older group. The research was recently published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.

“Our findings support the need for additional coaching education and practice contact restrictions. Future research should look at how different programs work at various levels of competition and sports,” said Kerr.

The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine has been developed by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). The OJSM is a global, peer-reviewed, open access journal that combines the interests of researchers and clinical practitioners across orthopaedic sports medicine, arthroscopy, and knee arthroplasty.

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uBiome Seeks Citizen Scientists to Explore Smokings Effect on Mouth Bacteria

uBiome logo

Although tobacco use in the United States is in slow decline, almost one in five adults is a smoker. While a great deal has been learned over the past fifty years about smoking’s serious health implications, it has only recently become feasible to investigate its impact on the oral microbiome. Biotech startup uBiome is giving smokers, ex-smokers, and non-smokers the chance to contribute to important research while also receiving their individual data showing the bacterial composition of their own mouth. Study participants will get a free at-home, mail-in mouth testing kit. They will also learn how their microbiome compares to those of other smokers, non-smokers, and ex-smokers.

How to take part in the study:

The microbiome consists of the bacteria living in and on the human body, making up between three and six pounds of an individual’s overall weight. Bacteria can be both helpful and harmful. They play a crucial role in digesting food and synthesizing vitamins. However, they also contribute to serious issues such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, heart conditions, bowel conditions, and skin conditions. The bacteria which make up the human microbiome are distributed across many different parts of the body – in the gut, ears, nose, genitals or mouth, for instance. The mouth alone can be home to around 1,000 different bacterial species.

Oral bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum disease, with figures showing that nearly 42 percent of periodontitis (gum disease) in the United States is attributable to tobacco smoking. There may be other links between smoking and the microbiome. For example a recent study by University Hospital Zurich suggested that the gut microbiomes of ex-smokers differ from those of smokers in a way which might partly account for the weight-gain often seen when people stop smoking. Potential weight-gain is a frequently cited reason for smokers refusing to give up, so understanding more about the interrelationship between bacteria, smoking, and weight change would be invaluable.

Jessica Richman, co-founder and CEO of uBiome, says the tobacco smoking study has significant potential. “Despite the known health risks, about 42 million Americans smoke. One way or another we’re all affected by smoking. Everyone either knows a smoker or is one themselves. We need to know more than we do, so this crucial study will shine a light on some of the unknowns. What difference does it make to the oral microbiome, for instance, if someone took up smoking as a teenager rather than coming to it later in life?”

Almost eighteen of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older currently smoke cigarettes. Although smoking rates in the U.S. have halved since 1964, the rate of decline has slowed. Smoking dropped from nearly 21 of every 100 adults in 2005 to nearly 18 of every 100 adults in 2013. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 in 5 of all deaths.

Dr. Zachary Apte, CTO and co-founder of uBiome, says the oral microbiome samples from smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers will be scrutinized in the company’s state of the art laboratory. “Just ten years ago it would have cost millions of dollars to analyze just one single person’s microbiome. Our sequencing service, based on research from the NIH Human Microbiome Project, can now do it for $ 89. For the first time, this makes large-scale research like uBiome’s new smoking study possible.”

uBiome’s mission is to use big data to understand the human microbiome by giving consumers the power to learn about their bodies, perform experiments, and see how current research studies apply to them. uBiome was launched in 2012 by UCSF scientists and Stanford and Cambridge technologists after a crowd-funding campaign raised over $ 350,000 from citizen scientists, roughly triple the initial goal. uBiome is now funded by Andreesen Horowitz, Y Combinator, and other leading angel investors.

Those interested in participating in the uBiome tobacco smoking study and getting a free mouth microbiome kit can find details here:


Alexandra Carmichael


Ph: +1 415-691-7291