The hybrids have it

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Los híbridos lo tienen

por Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | March 01, 2013
From the March 2013 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

I really love random facts and I seem able to conjure them up easily. For example, a liger is part lion (on the father's side) and part tiger (from the mother). It's believed that these animals once existed in the wild when the two species shared territorial ranges. They also typically grow to be much larger than either of the parent species.

With less of a "wow" factor than the liger, but more useful to society, mules are the hybrid offspring born from the pairing of a male donkey (or jack) and a female horse. The progeny are generally sterile although there have been rare cases where female mules have given birth.

So, with the current issue of DMBN, I was thinking I could file away some additional facts about hybrids to bandy about at dinner parties. Unfortunately, hybrid ORs don't have the clear definitions found for ligers and mules. Generally, they're considered to be a combination of cath lab and OR. Maybe the definition is vague due to the spin put out by hospital PR machines. After all, even if the average person doesn't know what a hybrid OR is, it still sounds cool. Maybe there are other reasons for the confusion. Regardless, you can read the story that starts on page 30 and draw your own conclusions. Afterward, I invite you to head online ( and share your thoughts about what constitutes a hybrid OR in the comments section at the end of the article.

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Also in this issue, we take a look at endoscopy's bright future (see page 41), medical robots and their expanding roles in health care and we introduce this year's crop of honorees in our annual DOTmed 100 feature.

With this issue wrapping-up the first quarter of the year and with big changes made and more to come, I welcome you to provide any feedback directly via my email. Of particular note, I'd like to get your opinion on This Month in Medical History, Medical Museum and Hospital Spotlight. Do you enjoy these lighter pieces? Do you skip right by them? If you have stories you want to see us cover more, other features you like or dislike or any other thoughts you care to share about DOTmed Business News and DOTmed News online, I'm listening.

Now, before I sign off for the month, I have a few more quick notes on hybrids to help you out. First, pluots, a plum and apricot hybrid, are delicious and I recommend you give them a try. Second, grapples, a combination of a grape and an apple, are unfortunately not hybrids, but are instead just apples infused with a concentrated grape flavor and water (according to the company's website). It's a sham and now you know. You can thank me later!

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