Quick hits: Giant Gator + Push-ups linked to Heart Disease + Ban on Foam

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Giant 700-pound alligator found in Georgia

A farmer in southwest Georgia found something he wasn’t expecting in an irrigation ditch: a massive alligator. When a wildlife biologist with the Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources arrived at the scene, he was shocked to see that the gator was 13 feet, 4 inches long, 700-750 pounds, with a chest girth of 57 inches. The gator had been in the ditch for almost a week before it was rescued. The animal had several previous injuries, including old gunshot wounds. Due to his poor condition and age, the team that rescued the alligator decided to euthanize him.

Research discovers a link between men’s ability to do push-ups and heart disease

A study published in JAMA Network Open has found that the number of push-ups men can do is linked to their likelihood of developing heart disease later in life. In the study, 1,104 healthy men with active jobs were instructed to do push-ups in time with a metronome set at 80 beats per minute. Participants stopped when they hit 80 push-ups, missed three or more metronome beats, or were too exhausted to continue.

When researchers followed up 10 years later, they found that the men that were able to do more than 40 push-ups during the test were 96 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those who could do fewer than 10. The men who could do 21-30 push-ups saw a cardiovascular disease risk reduction, though it wasn’t as significant as it was in the men who could do more. While researchers aren’t sure why push-ups and cardiovascular health are linked, muscular strength has been linked to a reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Maryland’s Senate approves ban on foam food and drink containers

On Tuesday, Maryland’s Senate voted to make the state the first in the country to ban foam food and drink containers to reduce pollution. The measure now goes to the House of Delegates. The ban would prevent businesses that sell food from using “expanded polystyrene food service products” beginning July 1, 2020. Senator Cheryl Kagan, who sponsored the bill, said that half of Maryland’s residents live in areas where food and drink foam containers are already banned and that the statewide ban would help the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary. Opponents of the bill say that it only bans a small amount of foam food and drink materials and does not include packaging. Opponents also worry that the ban will hurt small business owners.

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