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.

 

 

OSU Studies In-Home Interactions Surrounding Energy Use

New research done at the Ohio State University suggests that your perspective on the thermostat conflict going on in your home in part may depend on whether you are a man or a woman.

This new study has taken a first look at these battles in a sample of Ohio homes. This would be the first study to collect data on joint-decisions by consumers pivoting around home temperature settings and how they might affect energy use.

The study found that there were three types of thermostat setting related interactions: agreements, compromises and conflicts.

Men, the research found, were the most likely to report their thermostat interactions with other household members as agreements or compromises. Meanwhile, women were slightly more likely to report this type of interaction as a conflict. This could mean that individuals’ perceptions of the origin of the interactions or even imply that women are typical the losers in this “war story.”

This work focuses on understanding consumer behavior around energy use including thins like the decision to install solar panels or not; buying a hybrid car or not.
The entirtity of the research can be found in the journal PLOS ONE

OSU Researchers Worry About Warblers

OSU researchers studying a migratory songbird that finds its breeding grounds central and eastern United States only lives in just one country in South America during winter.

The Prothonotary Warbler is the bird, 34 of them were fitted with tracking technology that told researchers that after breeding the fly to Colombia and live in area only 20% of the size of their breeding grounds in the US.

Strangely enough most of the tracked warblers made stops in the same three locations in Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula.

While the results are fascinating the are at least equally concerning. The are they winter in is threatened by deforestation. These warblers are a species of concern here in the US as well as in other states because of their population decline in the past century.

The lead author is Chris Tonra.

 

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.