If you’re hunt­ing for eggs, don’t let the ga­tor getcha

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Out­liers knows re­searchers can make a lot of sac­ri­fices to do their work. But snatch­ing eggs from al­li­ga­tor mothers-to-be? Now that’s ded­i­ca­tion.

Louis Guil­lette, a pro­fes­sor of ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy and di­rec­tor of marine bio­med­i­cine and en­vi­ron­men­tal sciences at the Med­i­cal Univer­sity of South Carolina, has re­searched al­li­ga­tors in the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge and Lake Apopka in Florida for 25 years.

The lat­est out­ing to col­lect the eggs saw a pair of bi­ol­o­gists ner­vously keep­ing an eye on an 8-foot al­li­ga­tor just a few feet away as they pil­fered eggs from her nest along the edge of Spring Gar­den Lake near DeLeon Springs. “Wel­come to field­work,” joked Guil­lette, an in­ter­na­tion­ally known re­searcher, as a group of about 15 bi­ol­o­gists fanned out across the Lake Woodruff sys­tem. The eggs—con­trib­uted by some­times less-than-will­ing al­li­ga­tors—will be stud­ied world­wide for in­for­ma­tion on ge­net­ics, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tam­i­nants and hu­man health.

When he started, they were do­ing mostly “sim­ple bi­ol­ogy.” To­day, tis­sue and ge­netic sam­ples from the eggs are an­a­lyzed and com­pared us­ing the lat­est tech­niques in ge­netic re­search and molec­u­lar bi­ol­ogy.

“If we are go­ing to do this work, we have to learn ev­ery­thing we can,” Guil­lette told the As­so­ci­ated Press. They look at ba­sic bi­ol­ogy, but also eco-tech­nol­ogy, try­ing to un­der­stand en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tam­i­nants and how those con­tam­i­nants might lead to birth de­fects in al­li­ga­tors and hu­mans.

The stud­ies are im­por­tant for two rea­sons, the re­searchers said. The first is to help the state mon­i­tor and man­age the al­li­ga­tor pop­u­la­tion.

And the other? “If th­ese an­i­mals can tell us some­thing is go­ing on in our en­vi­ron­ment, that’s also pow­er­ful,” he says. “If this en­vi­ron­ment is not healthy for al­li­ga­tors, it’s not healthy for us.”

New nurses vs. bul­lies

Nurses just start­ing their ca­reers have a lot to worry about. Ad­just­ing to a new job while keep­ing pa­tients and ad­min­is­tra­tors happy can’t be easy.

Now you can add fear of be­ing bul­lied to the list.

Ver­bal abuse is a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem for nurses just start­ing their ca­reers, ac­cord­ing to a study re­leased re­cently by re­searchers at the NYU Col­lege of Nurs­ing.

“There’s a tra­di­tional say­ing that nurses eat their young,” lead author Wendy Budin, who has a doc­tor­ate in nurs­ing and is di­rec­tor of nurs­ing re­search at NYU Lan­gone Med­i­cal Cen­ter, told Crain’s New York Busi­ness.

Nurse-on-nurse bul­ly­ing—such as hu­mil­i­at­ing crit­i­cism in front of a pa­tient—helps no one, she says. It can be avoided by ed­u­cat­ing se­nior nurses in bet­ter ways to cor­rect a new nurse and by teach­ing new RNs to stand up for them­selves.

“We tell early ca­reer nurses to say, ‘When you talk to me like that, it un­der­mines my con­fi­dence,’ ” Budin says.

The cul­ture of ver­bal abuse may stem from the field’s dom­i­na­tion by women, sug­gested re­searchers, so that mean-spir­ited be­hav­ior dis­played in ado­les­cent cliques spills into the work­place. Re­gard­less of how it started, Budin says, there is now a con­certed ef­fort to stop it, be­cause it can lead to med­i­cal er­rors.

“We found (se­nior nurses) were of­ten not aware that what they were do­ing was seen as in­tim­i­da­tion,” she says. Many nurses sur­veyed said they were up­set by non­ver­bal ac­tions such as eye-rolling.

Does this thought make me look fat?

Seems if you want to lose weight, you have to think right. A new study finds that what you think about obe­sity can in­flu­ence your waist­line.

For the study, re­searchers asked 301 South Kore­ans what they thought was the prin­ci­ple cause of obe­sity: About half blamed diet, 40% cited not enough ac­tiv­ity and 8% said it was ge­netic.

The kicker? Those who cited overeat­ing had an aver­age body mass in­dex about 1.5 points lower than those who blamed not sweat­ing enough at the gym.

“If we be­lieve overeat­ing causes obe­sity, and we want to lose weight, we should cut back our in­take. If we be­lieve weight gain stems from a lack of ex­er­cise, we try to in­crease our ac­tiv­ity. How­ever, rel­a­tive to the other, one of th­ese paths is much more likely to be ef­fec­tive—re­duc­ing caloric in­take,” re­searcher Brent McFer­ran, a mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sor and so­cial psy­chol­o­gist at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan at Ann Ar­bor, wrote on his blog.

Many peo­ple think they can eat more if they ex­er­cise, he says. “Ex­er­cise can be a valid way to lose weight if you can hold food in­take con­stant, but many peo­ple strug­gle to do that,” McFer­ran told the web­site Live­Science.


Oh, snap! Re­searchers may have to get past a mean mama to col­lect those al­li­ga­tor eggs.


Don’t think that work­out means you can overindulge on a few slices if you want to lose weight.

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