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