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OSU Center for Health Sciences News

thursday, August 11, 2016

Studies examine crocodilians' bite force, ability to ambush prey

Paul Gignac


An OSU-CHS researcher has shed light on how alligators and crocodiles developed the ability to bite with several thousand pounds of force and successfully ambush prey near the water’s edge.

Paul M. Gignac, Ph.D., assistant professor of anatomy and vertebrate paleontology, at OSU-CHS, has published two studies examining the evolution of crocodile jaw bones and jaw muscles.

In a study posted by the Journal of Zoology on Monday, Gignac and Gregory M. Erickson, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and vertebrate paleontology at Florida State University, found that crocodilians’ largest jaw-closing muscle – the ventral pterygoideus muscle – has evolved to be so massive that it spills out behind the head, giving alligators and crocodiles the appearance of a fat neck. Read more.

OSU-CHSI launches Center for Predictive Medicine

William Paiva

The OSU Center for Health Systems Innovation has created the region’s first Center for Predictive Medicine aimed at improving patient care through the use of clinical data collected within the Cerner Health Facts database.

“Our analytic research teams are discovering detailed patterns in the data that can equip health-care providers and patients with the information they need to make improved, better and faster clinical and business decisions,” said William Paiva, OSU-CHSI executive director.

The database will be used for drug studies to better target therapeutic interventions to specific patient populations and to develop clinical decision and support algorithms for the management of cardiovascular, pulmonary and diabetic patients. In addition, the database will help develop the best hospital, clinical and performance benchmarks.

OSU alumnus Neal Patterson, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Cerner Corporation, donated the HIPAA-compliant database in 2014 to OSU-CHSI. It contains data about 63 million patients, including clinical information about patient encounters, admission types, billed charges, clinical outcomes, medications and lab values. Read more.

American Heart Association recognizes Chaffin for wellness efforts

Jesse Chaffin, OSU-CHS health and wellness manager, helps a client with lifting weights.
Jesse Chaffin, OSU-CHS health and wellness manager, helps second-year medical student Caleb Hurst lift weights.

Jesse Chaffin, OSU-CHS health and wellness manager, was presented the Gold Achievement award by the American Heart Association for his work in creating a fit-friendly worksite.

“As far as the award itself, I don't really feel it is an award for me, but for all of CHS,” Chaffin said. “I can't be awarded for the participation and hard work of others.”

The AHA’s Fit-Friendly Worksite Gold Achievement award recognizes employers who go above and beyond to support employee health, including programs to promote physical activity, healthy eating and a culture of wellness. OSU launched its America’s Healthiest Campus initiative in 2014 with the vision to improve student, faculty and staff wellness.