Stories of 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s alleged harsh management style put a spotlight on bosses bullying their workers. Those who study management say it’s not an effective strategy, but many successful people exhibit the tendency. So what’s going on? In other public health news, gender and science, gene-editing, cancer, exercise, and organ donations.
The New York Times: When The Bully Is The Boss
Senator Amy Klobuchar’s nascent campaign is fending off a stream of stories from former staffers that she was a volatile, highhanded boss who often demeaned and humiliated people who worked for her. She has one of the highest rates of turnover in the Senate. “Am I a tough boss sometimes? Yes,” she said in a recent CNN forum. “Have I pushed people too hard? Yes.” The presumption that tough bosses get results — and fast — compared with gentler leaders is widespread, and rooted partly in the published life stories of successful C.E.O.s. Bobby Knight, the Indiana University basketball coach and author of “The Power of Negative Thinking,” was notoriously harsh, and enormously successful. So was Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. (Carey, 2/26)
Stat: A Science Conference Invited Only Women On Stage. Then Came A Backlash
The decision to invite only female speakers to the microbiome conference at the University of California, San Diego, this week was meant to make a statement about how scientific meetings ought to be organized. Instead, the move has ignited a minor controversy, thrusting a gathering about a technical scientific subject into the culture wars. The inaugural International Microbiome Meeting, put on by UCSD’s Center for Microbiome Innovation, is expected to have 27 microbiome experts — all women — take the stage as presenters over two days this week. (Robbins, 2/27)
The Associated Press: China Drafts Rules On Biotech After Gene-Editing Scandal
China has unveiled draft regulations on gene editing and other potentially risky biomedical technologies after a Chinese scientist’s claim of helping to create gene-edited babies roiled the global science community. Under the proposed measures released Tuesday, technology involving gene editing, gene transfer and gene regulation would be categorized as “high-risk” and managed by the health department of the State Council, China’s Cabinet. (2/26)
Stat: Bispecific Antibodies Are Next New Thing In Cancer Immunotherapy
In cancer immunotherapy these days, technology is advancing so fast that 2017’s buzzy new treatment may soon be passe: Only 18 months after approval of the first CAR-T, pharmaceutical companies and biotechs are already talking about next-generation cancer therapy. Called bispecific antibodies, they’re being developed by some two dozen companies large and small, with a version cleverly branded as BiTEs already constituting 60 percent of Amgen’s oncology pipeline. The appeal: Bispecifics make the immune system kill tumor cells like first-gen immunotherapy, but, unlike the weeks it takes to laboriously manufacture CAR-Ts, they can start being infused almost as quickly as an oncologist can write a prescription. (Begley, 2/27)
The New York Times: The Best Type Of Exercise To Burn Fat
A few minutes of brief, intense exercise may be as effective as much lengthier walks or other moderate workouts for incinerating body fat, according to a helpful new review of the effects of exercise on fat loss. The review finds that super-short intervals could even, in some cases, burn more fat than a long walk or jog, but the effort involved needs to be arduous. I have written many times about the health, fitness and brevity benefits of high-intensity interval training, which typically involves a few minutes — or even seconds — of strenuous exertion followed by a period of rest, with the sequence repeated multiple times. (Reynolds, 2/27)
The New York Times: Britain, Trying To Boost Organ Donations, To Make Most Adults Presumed Donors
The story of Keira Ball, a sprightly 9 year old, did not end in the summer of 2017, when she was fatally injured in a car accident in England. Her parents consented to donating her organs, saving the life of Max Johnson, also 9, whose heart was failing because of an infection. Pictures of these two children, who never met in life, have been on newspaper front pages and news broadcasts in Britain this week, the most highly publicized of the cases that have helped win passage of what has been called Max and Keira’s law. It is intended to boost Britain’s low rate of organ donations by making most adults presumed organ donors by 2020. (Karasz, 2/26)
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