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.

 

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.”

 

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.