OSU Chemist et. al. Create New Coating to Protect Nanofibers

Chemists lead by an OSU professor of chemistry have come up with a coating that could help materials like medications stay more stable and this coating is much thinner than the width of human hair.

The coating secures strongly whatever is inside perhaps allowing many medications to hold together longer without the use of additives. Researchers compared it to a stack of quarters versus a plastic wrapped role of quarters from the bank. Both will eventually fall apart, but one remains stable much longer.

Researchers took their cue from nature but created the material in a lab. It is called polydopamine. They used this to cover peptide nano fibers (very small chains of amino acids). These are the building blocks of proteins. These peptide nanofibers are common building blocks for lots of common items, like medications.

Each peptide molecule is like one coin in the stack. The entire stack is a peptide nanofiber. The polydopamine coating makes sure the stack is protected against environments that would break the stack or nanofiber apart.

The chemists focused on very small materials, those on the “nanoscale”. One one-millionth of a millimeter equals one nanometer. This is about 75,000 times smaller than a width of a human hair.

This research was published in the European journal, Chemistry.

Researchers Study the Hidden Danger of Confidence

A new study suggests that feeling prepared or confident, for example for a big meeting or a job interview, that this confidence and preparedness may trickle into other parts of your life where you are not nearly so prepared, thereby creating false confidence.

The Ohio State University and other researchers conducted three studies to examine this phenomenon. Researchers found that feeling prepared in one area of life made people more confident in their beliefs about things that were completely different—whether those thoughts were positive or negative.

The findings are unsettling. Knowing that any given person’s confidence in one regard to make them overly confident when thinking about other issues.

One example researchers gave of how these findings could have real life impacts, if a person had been preparing for a big presentation at work. As they come to perfect their presentation it is coming time to vote on a political candidate. The person preparing for the presentation may have been unsure about their support for a candidate, but the leak over from their presentation conference may assure them of their choice and they will stop researching that candidate.

 

New Research Questions the Correlation Between Facial Expressions and Emotions

When we interact with others it is typically a back and forth based and reading cues and responding back. Smiles mean happiness—we smile in return. We think a frown must mean the other person is sad, so we attempt to make them feel better.

We believe in facial expressions so much some businesses are developing tools to rate their customers’ satisfaction through these expressions.

However new research suggest that not only are facial expressions not a reliable indicator of inner emotion but that they are completely unreliable, and we should never trust a face to tell us what someone is feeling.

Their research question was ‘can we really detect emotion from facial articulation?’

The researchers’ conclusion? No. We cannot.

The researchers focused on creating computer programs that analyze facial expressions. This allowed them to analyze the kinetics of muscle movement in the human face and compared those movements with a person’s emotions. The researchers found that their attempts to detect or define emotions based on a subject’s facial articulations were almost always wrong.

Researchers drew further deductions. First, that context and cultural background make a huge difference when it comes to facial expressions. They deduced that not everyone who smiles is happy and likewise not everyone who is happy smiles. They even took the extreme opinion that most people who do not smile are experiencing an average level of happiness.

Researchers noted, no one walks around all day with a smile on their face even if they are having a great day and are experiencing happiness for the bulk of it.

 

Have You Seen the Buckeye Man?

At the next Buckeyes football game you attend keep an eye out for the man with the buckeye bag. For three years Doug Malone has been passing out buckeyes from his bag to the Ohio State players as they enter the stadium headed to the locker room. Malone is a redcoat, an aid who performs special tasks for the Dept. of Athletics and attends to guests.

Malone’s father, Ronald, lost his life to cancer three years ago. Ronald started the pregame buckeye handout tradition thirteen years ago. Malone is picking up his father’s buckeye bag to honor him and carry on the ritual.

Malone states the first time he remembers his father passing out Buckeyes was a 2005 game against the University of Texas. The Malone’s were walking by the locker room and someone made a call that the defensive coordinator Luke Fickell needed a buckeye. Ronald had one.

After that Roland turned that one incident into habit and eventually into tradition. Ronald found buckeyes at a local park before every home game and brought them to the stadium.
The idea soon became reality. Ronald would go to a local park to pick up buckeyes and bring them to every game. The last game Ronald saw was against Michigan State.

Nowadays the ritual is a team effort. Malone passes out buckeyes found by other redcoats and some vendors who make and sell buckeye necklaces.

Counseling Reduces Cancer Recurrence, Says New Study

Breast cancer patients, two years after receiving diagnosis, have quadrupled their positive thoughts regarding the changes their bodies have gone through due to their illness, according to a new study.

Survivors who attended mentoring or counseling services designed specifically for cancer patients were found to have even more positive life changes. This particular study examined 160 women (all either had been diagnosed with stage 2 or 3 breast cancer) and were all treated in the Columbus area.

All the survivors who participated were part of the Immunity and stress Breast Cancer Program that looked into how effective counseling and intervention programs, designed by OSU, to help cancer patients handle the hurdles of their conditions and if counseling lowered the recurrence risks.

Previous research by the program had shown such programs did in fact reduce such risks.