Old Medicine, New Medicine Come Together to Cure Leishmaniasis Disease

Researchers from OSU are planning for first phase of human trials on a new vaccine. They used CRISPR gene editing to change the parasite that causes leishmaniasis. This is a common skin disease in tropical parts of the world and is increasing in the U.S.

Scientists found through a series of animal studies that the vaccine protected mice from the skin disease. Even immune compromised mice who were exposed as human are—through a bite of infected sand flies—were protected from the parasite’s disease.

In a series of animal studies, the vaccine protected mice against the disease – including mice with compromised immune systems and mice exposed to the parasite in the same way humans are, through the bite of infected sand flies.

The researchers stated that if the vaccine can protect against such a direct method of infection that the vaccine may be ready.

The team used a hundred-year-old method from the Middle East called leishmanization. They introduce the live parasite to the skin to create a small infection. After it is healed this small exposure gives the patient lifelong immunity.

Researchers noted that will live vaccines are the most effective can be the most dangerous causing serious disease in some patients. Their vaccine only “infects” the skin with immunity because the vaccine parasites have been genetically manipulated through CRISPR.


Soft Bodied Robots For Medical Use Created by Research Team

Researchers from the Ohio State University and Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered a way to send very small, “soft robots” into humans.

These could lead the way to less invasive surgeries as well as a delivery method for treatments for conditions ranging from colon polyps, to artery blockages, to stomach cancer.

Under their new system, doctors would steer the soft robot inside the body using magnetic fields. The robots are like a small actuator and because they are navigated wirelessly it makes their use far less invasive.

The soft robot is composed of a magnetic polymer; a soft composite that has magnetic particles mixed in which allows it to be controlled remotely by magnetic field.

This concept isn’t entirely new but the soft body of the robot is and this feature means less damage to the body traditional robots with hard bodies.



Pet Laser Pointers and a New Optical Scanner Tell a Tale

Laser pointers advertised as pet toys present themselves as simple, low-power items. However, such laser pointers can cause permanent eye damage even though they are “low-power” as one Ohio teen learned.

The boy’s unfortunate but minimal vision loss is just one part of the story. The other part is about a high-res optical imaging machine develop by researchers at the Ohio State University. Using this machine, researchers were able to reveal, in high detail, how the cells in the boy’s eye retinas are simply gone.

This is the are of the eye that contains the light-sensitive cells or photoreceptors. Many of us learned about them as rods and cones in school. These allow us to see. They are most dense in the retina and allow us vision and color.

The researchers pointed out that in part of the boy’s retina there was simply nothing there, that the effected area was devoid of cones.

It was only possible to see this damage in detail with the optical scanning machine. The case study will be published in Retinal Cases and Brief Reports. It is both a cautionary tale about simple laser pointers but is also the first published report of laser eye damage capture by this new optical scanning machine in which the exact extent of damage can be seen.


Posted in OSU

Wexner Medical Center Develops Procedure to Scan Student Athletes for Myocarditis

Cardiac MRI has been found effective in finding inflammation of the heart muscle in athletes and thus help determine when those athletes who have recovered from Covid-19 can return safely to practice and play in competitive sports.

This method was researched by the Wexner Medical Center at OSU and the research was published in JAMA.

Researchers examined 26 Covid-19 positive male and female student athletes who play college sports. The were looking for myocarditis—a rare disease that can cause sudden cardiac death and heart failure. It is typically caused by viral infection in young adults and tends to affect more males than females.

Recent studies have found myocarditis in patients who recover from Covid-19. In the OSU research 12 of the student athletes showed signs of mild Covid symptoms while the others were asymptomatic.

The Wexner Center calls of a combination of clinical tests to make sure student athletes can safely return to practice and play. This includes a heart ultra sound, electrocardiogram (recordings of the heartbeat) and a blood test to check for myocarditis prior to athletes continuing with competitive play.


Posted in OSU

People Prefer Seeing Individuals Excel Over Teams, New Study Finds

A new study by researchers at OSU found that people like to see talented people excel, whether in sports or business. They like an individual’s winning streak. But don’t care to see that happen with teams or groups.

People would love to see Usain Bolt win another gold medal but far fewer are interested in seeing the New England Patriots win another Super Bowl, researchers said.

Researchers stated the reason for the phenomenon is that people are inspired by extraordinary individual success in a way team success doesn’t. If Usain Bolt wins another gold medal (and another in a row) it expands what we considered to be the limit of human ability. We do not see team success in the same light. The study found people are simply more moved by individual success.

In one part of the study many more people were excited bout Bolt’s winning a third in a row gold medal in the 100-meter dash than they were by his shared gold medal on the 4×100-meter relay team. Result also showed people would rather see him win a forth gold medal on his own rather than as part of a team.

In one study, they examined people’s views on the success of Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter who won the 100-meter dash in the last three Olympics. Bolt was also a member of a team that won the gold medal in the 4×100-meter relay at those same Olympic games.

The study was published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”