Review Category : Health

How to Survive a Gator Attack: ‘Fight Like Hell,’ Wildlife Experts Say

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Officials are still searching for the body of a 2-year-old Nebraska boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator Tuesday night at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Bay Lake, Florida.

The toddler was “playing” in the water at Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon around 9 p.m. when the alligator attacked, officials said. The reptile is estimated to be between 4 and 7 feet-long.

Florida is teeming with more than a million gators, but only a dozen or so bites are recorded each year, according to statistics from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Fatal alligator attacks are rare.

To avoid an encounter with a gator, wildlife experts said people must never feed them — it’s dangerous and also illegal in the state of Florida. Families should also steer clear of waterways at nighttime, when an alligator can’t decipher the difference between a small child and its normal food source. People must be especially vigilant during nesting season, which lasts through July.

“It’s rare that an alligator will come out of the water and go after a human being,” Ron Magill, a wildlife expert and communications director at Zoo Miami, said on ABC News’ Good Morning America Wednesday. “They usually nest close to the water. If you get near a nest, a female will come after you. Females are very protective.”

In the unusual event that you do find yourself squaring off with a gator, wildlife experts suggest these four tips:


If you happen to lock eyes with an alligator on land, forget running in a zigzag. Run away as fast as you can in a straight line. Alligators will typically only chase a human to defend their territory.

“The longer you stay within their territory, the longer they’re going to chase you,” Frank Mazziotti, professor of wildlife ecology at the University of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, told ABC News Wednesday. “When you run back and forth, you are in fact exposing yourself to attack for a longer period of time then if you just ran in a straight direction and got out of there. Once you’re not longer a threat, it has no interest in you.”

Fight back

If a gator does grab hold of you, there are a few things you can do. Most importantly, don’t give up.

“Fight like hell. Don’t go willingly,” Mazziotti said. “The bigger fight you put up, the more likely it’s going to let you go and say, ‘This isn’t worth it.'”

Smack the snout

Rather than trying to open a gator’s jaws, which are extremely powerful, aim for where the animal is most vulnerable, like its snout.

“Pop them on the snout. The tip of their snout is very sensitive. That might be able to get them to release you,” Magill said.

Gouge the eyes

Jabbing a gator in the eyes may also make it release its bite, even for just a brief moment, allowing you to get away before it pulls you under.

“The thing you want to stop them from doing is turning. They’ll grab and they’ll start rolling to try to break off pieces to eat and that’s the key thing,” Magill said on GMA. “You’ve got to hold on as hard as you can. And the other is to try to poke your fingers in their eyes. That’s easier said than done in that situation of course, but that’s the best chance you have.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Boosting Your Fertility

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

There are many things couples can do to boost their fertility.

One is taking a compound called N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC for short. It’s available over-the-counter or online as a product known as PregPrep, and there’s even a male version.

Data has shown that N-acetyl cysteine can thin secretions, making it easier for sperm to reach the egg. In men, it can improve the number, shape and movement of sperm.

So how do know what’s right for you?

While NAC is not a treatment for true infertility, it can be a safe and easy approach for someone who’s trying to conceive.

As for other fertility boosters, don’t smoke, maintain a healthy weight and try to minimize stress.

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Orlando Gunman Donated Blood Less Than Two Weeks Before Shooting

Hemera/Thinkstock(FORT PIERCE, Fla.) — The gunman who killed dozens of people at a gay nightclub in Orlando gave blood to a donation center that provided much of the supply later used to help save injured club patrons.

The OneBlood donation center confirmed day that Omar Mateen donated blood last month. In a statement, officials from the center said an employee recognized Mateen from a mobile blood drive.

“OneBlood has learned that Omar Mateen donated blood at a mobile blood drive in Ft. Pierce, Florida, on May 29,” OneBlood vice president Susan Forbes said in a statement to ABC News. “All facets of the donation were in our normal parameters for blood donation, including screening questions and post-donation blood testing. A staff member recognized Mateen’s face from media photos and told their supervisor.”

Forbes said staffers confirmed Mateen’s donation from the center’s database and then informed law enforcement. OneBlood did not disclose whether his donated blood was used. In most cases, donated blood can be used for up to 42 days after donation.

The center became a focal point after the shootings as hundreds of people lined up to donate blood in the hope of helping victims.

The center was also touched by the shooting after a lab supervisor, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33, was confirmed killed in the shooting.

He worked at the center since 2011 and recently became a platelet supervisor in the Orlando laboratory, according to OneBlood.

“He was passionate about saving lives and took great pride in the lifesaving work he performed,” the center said in a statement. “Rodolfo was often called upon to share his knowledge and best practices with many of the people in his department and was an intricate part of a team of people who work diligently to help save lives. He was a caring and friendly person and will be greatly missed by everyone who had the honor of knowing him.”

The center is still asking that people donate blood but requests that potential donors make appointments to ensure that its staff is not overwhelmed by processing and testing thousands of donations.

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Kim Kardashian West on Her Struggle to Lose 60 Pounds of Baby Weight

Marc Piasecki/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) — Six months after giving birth to her second child, Kim Kardashian West has dropped the baby weight, thanks to a rigorous diet and intense exercise routine, she said. The 35-year-old has shed the 60 pounds she put on during pregnancy, and said she is determined to keep going.

Kardashian West told PEOPLE magazine that following the birth of Saint in December, she “felt like Gumby,” adding that after looking in the mirror, she doubted whether her body would ever be the same.

One Atkins diet later, Kardashian West, who is also an ambassador to the brand, is back to her old self, saying that she was down to 132 pounds last month, according to PEOPLE. But she’s not done yet. To lose those stubborn last pounds and reach her goal weight of 120, the reality star has limited her daily intake to no more than 1,800 calories a day.

Kardashian West emphasizes hydration (she drinks 48 to 64 ounces of liquid a day), protein and vegetables, and limits her carbs. A portion of her daily food diary revealed protein-packed breakfasts, including scrambled eggs with turkey sausage and a cup of yogurt topped off with some fresh fruit.

And she isn’t cutting any corners. In addition to her dieting, Kardashian West also wakes up for 6 a.m. workouts when she’s home.

“Anyone who has kids knows your body changes and it’s hard to get your body back in shape,” Kardashian West said. “It takes so much determination and mental and physical power and energy.”

After giving birth to a healthy baby boy in December, the mother of two tweeted in January that she had already lost 30 pounds, with 40 more to go. Now closer than ever to reaching her goal, Kardashian West expressed pride in her determination and success, stating that she has “never felt better.”

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This Robot Can Decide When to Inflict Pain on Humans

Alexander Reben(NEW YORK) — A future robotic uprising may have just been equipped with a new tool, with the creation of an artificially intelligent machine capable of deciding whether or not to prick a person’s finger.

Alexander Reben, a roboticist and artist based in Berkeley, California, told ABC News he wanted to create a machine that would spur debate around sci-fi author Isaac Asimov’s First Law of robotics, which says a robot may not harm a human being, or by its inaction allow a human being to be harmed.

“I tried to develop something that was the least amount of injury possible and a pin does that because it makes you bleed,” Reben said. “The interesting part, to me, are the ethical and philosophical ramifications of this existing.”

If a person dares to put their finger near the robot, it will make a decision using an algorithm as to whether or not to prick the person’s finger. Reben said the algorithm is set up in a specific way so even he cannot predict the robot’s decision.

“From a philosophical point of view, it is important I cannot predict the outcome of what will happen because people will wonder am I responsible or is the robot?” he said.

Building the robot took a just a few days for Reben, who said he used a similar robot arm from one of his previous projects, a robot that can scratch a human’s head. While some people are wary about taking a chance on being pricked, Reben said he’s had no shortage of volunteers around his lab who want to try it.

“People are curious to see what it’s like to have an experience with this thing and that is why it’s important for me to build it,” he said. “It’s easy to put this in a thought experiment, but once it’s a physical thing, you have to confront it in a different way. It’s a lot easier to have this gut emotion reaction when this exists.”

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Woman Explains Why She Waited Years to Buy a Bikini

Lesley Miller(HOUSTON) — Lesley Miller has wrestled with body image issues all her life. Her struggles, which she says evolved into self-harming and eating disorders, kept her from enjoying many simple things in life, including buying a bikini. Until now.

Miller, a rising senior at Rice University in Houston, recently revealed in a poignant Facebook post that after being “continually ashamed and silent,” she finally purchased a multi-colored two piece.

“When I was twenty, I lost half my body weight in nine months, my worth for the day solely determined by the number on the scale being lower than the day before,” she wrote, referencing her battle with eating disorders. “And then I got tired of waiting. So now I’m twenty one and I bought my first bikini. EVER.”

Miller, 21, ended the post, writing, “I want to learn to love all of myself, not just the parts I’ve been told are ‘acceptable.’ Because the secret is, I was always enough. And you are too.”

The post has gone viral with more than 500 “likes” and dozens of comments.

Miller, who had lap-band surgery at age 11 to manage her weight, said she shared her story after undergoing treatment for her issues.

“As I’ve done that I realized there are so many people going through the same thing as well,” she told ABC News. “Not everyone does get help and I realized that when I share my story with other people they can say, ‘Me, too. I’ve been through that,’ and it’s really nice.”

The college student said it wasn’t easy to post a picture of herself in a bikini.

“It exposes everything I’m self-conscious about, but I realized that if people feel the need to tear me apart, it’s likely they have their own stuff going on,” she said.

Instead, she chooses to focus on what she has learned, which is to love herself.

“We’re always getting the message that we need to look a certain way or act a certain way and that kind of implies that you’re not OK the way that you are,” Miller said. “We’re inherently valuable the way that we are now.”

She continued, “It might’ve taken me this long to acknowledge that I am enough, but that doesn’t mean that when I weighed 300 pounds that I wasn’t acceptable then too.”

Miller, who is now writing a memoir about her experience, said she’s studying clinical psychology at Rice University so that she can “help other people who are struggling.”

Indeed, she has a message for those battling eating disorders.

“I have good body-image days and bad ones, and I still have times when I find myself breaking down in a dressing room or obsessing over the nutrition content in a cookie,” Miller said. “I am continually working toward being at peace with my body and loving myself unconditionally. But I want people in the depths of body image or eating struggles to know that it gets better.”

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Frog Travels More Than 700 Miles for Treatment After Woman Accidentally Runs Over It

Deborah Pergolotti/Frog Safe, Inc.(QUEENSLAND, Australia) — A frog that had been run over by a lawnmower was transported more than 700 miles across Australia for treatment that potentially saved its life.

Min Tims, a “distraught” woman in Queensland, Australia, accidentally ran over the 2-inch frog, according to Deborah Pergolotti, president of Frog Safe, the animal wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility responsible for treating the little amphibian.

“Since the care it would require was far too complicated for an untrained person to do” she suggested the frog fly from Mount Isa, a city in Queensland, all the way to Cairns to their facility — which is more than 700 miles away, Pergolotti told ABC News.

Thanks to three businesses donating their services, including an animal transport company, a courier service and an Australian airline, the green tree frog was able to receive treatment.

“The frog was out on the lawn during the day because it was already not feeling well,” Pergolotti explained, adding that the frog had two internal parasites.

The frog also was wounded on its back and behind its eye due to the lawnmower.

“The wound took about four to five weeks to clear the infection and heal over completely and we used a range of alternative medicines for that,” she added.

Pergolotti said the facility plans to return the frog to Mount Isa “shortly” after its fully recovered.

It’s good news for the little frog, believed to be 2 or 3 years old, as the Australian green tree frog has a typical lifespan of about 15 years, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

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Whole Grain Intake Linked to Lower Risk of Death

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Eating more whole grains could help you live longer.

A new meta-analysis from Harvard University that looked at 12 studies with data from 1971 to 2010 links whole grain intake to lower death rates.

In the study, published in the medical journal Circulation, researchers found that those consuming 50 grams of whole grains per day (roughly the recommended amount) had a 20 percent reduction in risk of death from all causes.

The risk of death from cardiovascular disease was also lowered by about 20%, and risk of death from cancer by about 15 percent.

The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise at least 48 grams of whole grains daily to prevent chronic illnesses, and this report fills the gap in pre-existing studies on whole grain consumption and mortality.

This paper is important because Americans still eat less than one serving of whole grains daily, whereas the recommendation is at least three servings per day.

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White House Upholds FDA Ban on Blood Donations from Gay Men

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — In wake of the terror attack in Orlando, the government is upholding its ban on blood donations from gay men.

The LGBT community, meanwhile, is calling the Food and Drug Administration rule banning blood donations from gay men if they’ve had a sexual encounter within the past year as discriminatory.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there were no plans to lift the ban.

“The President believes that when it comes to these kinds of questions that we’re going to rely on scientific advice,” he said.

Thousands turned up to donate blood in Orlando after Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub left at least 49 people dead and over 50 injured.

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French Tattoo Artist Gets ‘World’s 1st’ Prosthetic Arm That Doubles as a Tattoo Gun

Courtesy JC Sheitan Tenet(PARIS) — A French tattoo artist, who lost his right arm 22 years ago, recently received what’s been called the “world’s first” tattooing prosthetic arm.

JC Sheitan Tenet, 32, told ABC News Tuesday he received and demonstrated the first prototype of the tattoo gun prosthesis earlier this month during a convention in Devézieux, France.

Though Tenet has been tattooing with his left arm and hand for years, he’s now learning how to tattoo with his right arm using the “Edward Scissorhands”-esque tool, he said.

The tattoo gun arm was created by visual artist and engineer Jean-Louis Gonzalez, who goes by “Gonzal.”

Courtesy JC Sheitan Tenet

Gonzal told ABC News Tuesday that Tenet can control the prosthetic arm with his shoulder. Gonzal is still working on perfecting the prosthesis, and said he hopes the next prototype will give Tenet more wrist mobility.

Tenet explained that he uses the prosthesis to do a little filling, but he doesn’t rely on it to do elaborate artwork. He added that the needle is disposable and that the prosthesis is cleanable like a regular tattoo machine.

And though the prosthesis has a rusted metal look, it’s not rusted or unsanitary at all, Tenet said. The tattoo gun arm was painted in “steampunk style,” he explained. Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that typically features technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th century steam-powered machinery.

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