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.

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.

 

New Autonomous Vehicle Test Center Connected to OSU

A research park dedicated to developing new generations of automated vehicles just opened—and OSU is part of it. The Transportation Research Center added on a 45 million dollar test facility called the Smart Mobility Advance Research Test Center (or SMARTCenter). This high tech facility is about 66% the size of Central Park in NYC.

The SMARTCenter is a collaboration between OSU, the state and JobsOhio. The connection to the test center lets the university maintain its mantel as a leader in self-driving research. Having the worlds best and newest test track in the backyard of the university will be a benefit to students and the community from an educational and job creation standpoint.

The SMARTCenter features the widest and longest data-connected test intersection in the industry. The test operation center is 10k square feet that includes research space and garages. The finished track will be an expansive test center with changeable intersections, roundabouts and road configurations.

The new test center will be fantastic opportunity for students to prepare for the jobs of the future.

Engineering Professor to Be Honored by NAE

The first female Buckeye, an engineering professor, will become a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Associate dean of research in the College of Engineering, Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, will be one of eighty-six people to receive the Nation Academy of Engineering honor this year. The Academy honored Grejner-Brzezinska’s for her contributions in geodetic science and sat nav technology—including innovations integrating it with AI.

Beyond being the first female member of the NAE, she is only the 13th faculty member of Ohio State to be honored.

Membership in the NAE is one of the highest honors an engineer can be granted and are only received by those who have made stupendous achievements in engineering research, practical application or education. Those who are honored are pioneers in the fields who make significant advancements in both theory and implementation of new engineering.

Grejner-Brzezinska’s initial work helped create a more reliable GPS navigation. This body of work eventually lead to the GPS we enjoy in our smartphones today. More Recently her teams and she have created new navigation systems that leverage AI and image-based technology and do not rely on global positioning satellites alone.

 

Buckeyes Honor Veterans with Flag Retirement and Replacement Ceremony

The Buckeyes have created a new annual activity in which they retire and replace American flags all across the Columbus campus of the Ohio State University.

The week long celebration of military students, faculty and support staff began with the inaugural Campus Flag Event at the beautiful Remembrance Park. Midshipmen, cadets and student veterans marched in military style to each flag location to retire and replace each flag.

Congressman Steve Stivers, Ohio National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Bartman and President Michael V. Drake all spoke at the ceremony at Remembrance Park to begin the event. They all spoke on the same topic: the important role veterans play at the Ohio State University.

The Ohio State University counts among its students almost 2,000 vets, active duty, reserves and National Guard members and their dependents. 1,400 vets are either current faculty or staff. Additionally, there are about 400 Air Force, Army or Navy ROTC members on campus.