OSU Researches Study Where and When People “Clean Their Plates”

When people eat at home, there’s typically not much left on their plates – and that means there’s likely less going to landfills, according to new research from The Ohio State University.

The same people who on average left just 3 percent of their food on their plates when choosing their own meals left almost 40 percent behind when given a standard boxed-lunch type of meal. Plate waste at home was 3.5 percent higher when diners went for seconds (or thirds).

What we leave behind on our plates is the primary focus of efforts to reduce food waste, and this study shows that it’s potentially more important to concentrate on other conservation measures at home, including using up food before it spoils, said Brian Roe, the study’s lead author and a professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State.

Prior research typically has focused on “plate waste” in settings such as school cafeterias and buffets and has found much greater waste — from about 7 percent at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet to 18 percent waste of French fries at an all-you-can-eat university dining hall.

The new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first of its kind to follow adult eaters through their normal day-to-day eating patterns, said Roe, who leads the Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative.

OSU Involved New Cardiac Care Protocol

More people are walking away from a type of cardiac arrest that is nearly always fatal, thanks to a new protocol being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. It’s called an ECPR alert.

Ohio State cardiologists work in conjunction with Columbus Division of Fire to implement this novel pre-hospital life support protocol that has limited availability in the U.S.

Currently, only about 10 percent of people survive a sudden cardiac arrest that happens in the field – even fewer survive with normal neurologic function. The ECPR alert is designed to change those numbers.

Columbus EMS personnel follow their protocol for ventricular fibrillation. If the patient remains in this rhythm after three defibrillation attempts, they call an ECPR alert to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Medics put a mechanical CPR device on the patient for transport straight to the cardiac catheterization lab where a team is assembled and waiting.

Once in the cath lab, the patient is put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which takes over the functions of the heart and lungs. The new system worked for 68-year-old Mark Bradford of Columbus. He collapsed while on his morning walk and woke up days later after treatment in the hospital.

OSU Goes Greener

The Ohio State University today joined the newly launched University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3, an alliance of 13 leading North American research universities that will create a collaborative model to help local communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

In launching UC3, an initial group of universities from the United States, Canada and Mexico has committed to mobilize their resources and expertise to accelerate local and regional climate action in partnership with businesses, cities and states. All UC3 members have pledged to reduce their institutional carbon footprints, with commitments ranging from making more climate-friendly investments to becoming operationally carbon neutral.

In 2015, Ohio State established strategic sustainability goals to guide the university into the future in its core areas of collaborative teaching, pioneering research, comprehensive outreach and innovative operations. Specific to Ohio State’s carbon footprint is a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and another to reduce total campus building energy consumption by 25 percent by 2025.

In pursuit of its carbon-neutrality goal, the university has reduced its emissions by 4.8 percent since 2015, despite increasing student enrollment of nearly 2 percent during the same time frame. In addition to energy efficiency measures implemented across the university, renewable wind energy accounts for 20 percent of the university’s total purchased electricity.

OSU Study Finds Out Why Old Work Commitments Linger

In a study of 420 employees representing a wide variety of occupations and work settings at three organizations, researchers found that commitments that workers no longer had were still lingering in their minds. While these effects could be positive or negative, the study revealed that many employees harbor negative feelings about long-gone obligations that their supervisors may not realize.

The research involved surveys of employees at a health care facility, a financial institution and a large, unionized manufacturing plant. As this was an exploratory study, the researchers asked employees just two questions: The first asked participants to describe in a few words a specific thing that they were committed to at work but were not anymore. The second asked them to say why they no longer had that commitment.

After reading the responses, the researchers sorted them into 11 broad reasons for why commitments ended. The most common was changes in work circumstances, which included about 30 percent of all responses. This could involve changed jobs or positions or shifted responsibilities.

The second most common reason, cited 16 percent of the time, was over-commitment. This included conflicting responsibilities or there simply not being enough time or capacity to fulfill all of one’s obligations.

The study appears online in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries.

Climate Change and Coral: An OSU Study

If this winter finds you stressed out and fighting a sinus infection, then you know something of what coral will endure in the face of climate change.

They don’t have sinuses, but these colorful aquatic animals do actually make mucus—“coral snot” is a thing—and the balance of different species of bacteria living in their mucus is very important, because it functions as an ad hoc immune system, keeping the coral healthy by keeping unfriendly bacteria at bay.

In a study appearing in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at The Ohio State University and their colleagues have demonstrated how two separate effects of climate change combine to destabilize different populations of coral microbes—that is, unbalance the natural coral “microbiome”—opening the door for bad bacteria to overpopulate corals’ mucus and their bodies as a whole.

The goal of the study was to help guide conservation efforts in advance of the expected rise in ocean temperature and acidity by the end of this century, as forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).