NEW PROCEDURE TO IMPROVE NASAL AIRFLOW AIMS TO HELP PATIENTS BREATHE EASY
COLUMBUS – Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are exploring how small changes in the nasal cavity impact airflow and quality of life.
As part of a clinical trial, doctors use a new, non-invasive approach to reshape nasal tissue. The Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling device delivers radiofrequency energy to the nasal valve area to treat nasal obstruction, a condition that impacts millions of Americans.
“What this technology does is reshape the internal nasal valve region, which is a region where cartilage on the side of your nose meets your septum,” said Dr. Brad Otto, assistant professor of otolaryngology at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “Basically what it causes the cartilage to do is barely denature and change its shape just a little bit in order to open up that valve and improve airflow to that region.”
CT scans of the nasal cavity are taken before and after the procedure to measure airflow through the nasal cavity. This allows researchers to objectively measure changes in airflow.
“We use a technique called computational fluid dynamics, which is a study that we can base on CT scans that are done to show how the airflow through the nose travels,” Otto said. “Part of the goal of this study is to understand better how this technology changes the airflow through the nose to make people feel happy with their nasal breathing.”
Nasal obstruction can lead to chronic nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, difficulty sleeping and fatigue. Traditional treatments include medication, breathing strips and surgery to remove tissue and bone. Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling is performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia, so patients can return to normal activities right away.
The study is recruiting patients ages 18 to 75 with chronic nasal obstruction due to the shape of the nasal value who have experienced positive response to temporary measures to open the nasal cavity, such as with nasal strips and stents, and where steroid medication failed to help. Patients with chronic sinusitis, prior nasal value surgery or severe septal deviation or polyps are among those excluded.
For more information about the clinical trial, visit the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Division of Otolaryngology website. The study is being sponsored by Aerin Medical, the medical device company that developed the Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling Device.
[Ohio State News] New pig virus found to be a potential threat to humans
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May 14, 2018
New pig virus found to be a potential threat to humans
Study first to show possible cross-species transmission of recently discovered coronavirus
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health.
Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the first to point to possible transmission of this virus between species, appears online in the journal PNAS.
Porcine deltacoronavirus was first identified in 2012 in pigs in China, but it was not associated with disease. It was first detected in the United States in 2014 during a diarrhea outbreak in Ohio pigs and has since been detected in various countries. Young, infected pigs experience acute diarrhea and vomiting. The disease can be fatal. As of yet, no human cases have been documented, but scientists are concerned about the possibility.
“Before it was found in pigs – including in the Ohio outbreak – it had only been found in various birds,” said study senior author Linda Saif, an investigator in Ohio State’s Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), in Wooster.
“We’re very concerned about emerging coronaviruses and worry about the harm they can do to animals and their potential to jump to humans,” said Saif, a distinguished university professor of veterinary preventive medicine.
Emergence of the new virus is especially worrisome to veterinary and public-health experts because of its similarity to the life-threating viruses responsible for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) outbreaks.
The potential for a virus to jump from one species to another is highly dependent on its ability to bind to receptors on the cells of the animal or human, said lead researcher Scott Kenney, an assistant professor of veterinary preventive medicine based in the Food Animal Health Research Program at OARDC.
“A receptor is like a lock in the door. If the virus can pick the lock, it can get into the cell and potentially infect the host,” he said.
This study looked at a particular cellular receptor called aminopeptidase N that the researchers suspected might be involved.
“We know from other coronaviruses that these receptors on the cells are used and that they’re found in the respiratory and digestive tracts of a number of different animals,” Kenney said. “Now we know that this new virus could go into cells of different species, including humans.”
Saif said it’s important to recognize that, for now, the only known infection in humans and other species is in the laboratory, using cultured cells.
Their investigation confirmed that the virus could bind to the receptor in pigs, which was not a big surprise.
But it also was able to bind to the receptor in human cells, and to cells from cats and chickens.
“From that point, it’s just a matter of whether it can replicate within the cells and cause disease in those animals and humans,” Kenney said.
Added Saif, “This doesn’t prove that this virus can infect and cause disease in these other species, but that’s something we obviously want to know.”
She said the next step in understanding this virus and its potential for human infection will be a study looking for antibodies in the blood that would serve as evidence that the pig virus has already infected people.
“We now know for sure that porcine deltacoronavirus can bind to and enter cells of humans and birds. Our next step is to look at susceptibility – can sick pigs transmit their virus to chickens, or vice versa, and to humans?” Saif said.
In 2002 and 2003, a SARS outbreak that began in China was linked to more than 8,000 cases and 774 deaths in 37 countries, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists have since discovered that SARS originated in bats before spreading to people. An ongoing MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia has led to more than 1,800 cases and more than 700 deaths, according to the WHO. The virus has been found in camels, and some of the infected people have had close contact with the animals.
This study was supported by ZonMW (The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development).
Ohio State researchers Kwonil Jung and Moyasar Alhamo also worked on the study.
Not quite a ‘double bind’ for minority women in science
Study measures disadvantage based on race, gender and ethnicity
COLUMBUS – Many studies have shown that both minority and women scientists face disadvantages in reaching the highest levels of their careers.
So it would make sense that minority women would face a “double bind” that would particularly disadvantage them.
But a new study using a massive database of scientific articles suggests that minority women actually face what might be called a “one-and-a-half bind.” They are still worse off than other groups, but their disadvantage is less than the disadvantage of being black or Hispanic plus the disadvantage of being a woman.
“There is less disadvantage than you would have thought if you simply added the penalties of being a minority and being a woman,” said Bruce Weinberg, co-author of the study and professor of economics at The Ohio State University.
The study appears in the May 2018 issue of AEA Papers and Proceedings.
The findings are particularly timely now, said study co-author Gerald Marschke, associate professor of economics at the University at Albany, State University of New York.
“The underrepresentation of women and minorities is a huge concern to policymakers and is the focus of many commissions and initiatives,” Marschke said.
The researchers used an innovative method to overcome one of the biggest issues in studying the careers of minority women.
“Because of the small number of minorities and the small number of women in some science careers, it is hard to study them, particularly with people who are members of both groups,” Weinberg said.
The researchers found a way around this problem by using a convention of the biomedical sciences to their advantage. In the journals where these scientists publish their results, the last author listed on an article is the principal investigator who supported the work and has the highest level of prestige.
“Being listed as the last author is the pinnacle of the research career and has a lot of status that goes along with it,” Weinberg said. So the researchers compared how many minorities and women were listed as last author on papers compared to white men.
The study used a massive database of 486,644 articles with two to nine authors published in medical journals by U.S. scientists between 1946 and 2009. Computer software categorized author names by race, ethnicity and gender.
This software also identified individual authors so that the researchers could follow how scientists’ authorship position on papers changed over the course of their careers.
Overall, results showed that the probability of being a last author – the prestige position – increased from 18 percent during the first four years of a scientist’s career to 37 percent after 25 and up to 29 years.
Black scientists were substantially less likely to be last authors compared to white men after five years into their careers, with a gap of 6 percentage points at 25 to 29 years.
The movement of women and Hispanics into last authorship was even slower, with a gap of 10 percentage points after 25 years in their career.
Marschke noted that women and minorities have fewer publications than white men and controlling for these differences can account for some of the gaps with white men.
“But even after controlling for experience differences you see these gaps,” Marschke said.
The researchers also did several statistical analyses to assess the impact of various factors on whether an author would have the last position on an article.
In one such analysis, they found that blacks were 0.4 percentage points less likely than white men to be the last author and women were about 4 percentage points less likely to be listed last.
Given that, it would have been reasonable to assume that the penalty for black women would be at least the sum of those two disadvantages, or 4.4 percentage points, Weinberg said.
But in fact, the findings showed black women were about 3.5 percentage points less likely than white men to receive the last authorship position.
“You lose something for being black and you lose something for being a woman. But you lose less than simply adding those two disadvantages together,” he said.
A similar result was found for Hispanic women.
This result was surprising, Weinberg said, partly because the two disadvantages could have been more than just additive.
“Our expectation, based on research that has been done on intersectionality, was that, if anything, the penalties of being a woman and being a minority could have compounded each other, and their position would have been even worse,” he said.
Marschke added: “Women who are minorities may feel isolated by their minority status, but unlike minority men, also face the strain of balancing careers and families like white women. But unlike white women, they also have to uphold their roles as women within their culture.”
The researchers are now investigating why they found these results and trying to determine if factors like the number of people on a research team and the source of funding may affect how women and minorities fare.
Along with Weinberg and Marschke, other co-authors were Allison Nunez and Huifeng Yu of the University at Albany, SUNY.
The researchers received funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Student-created digital wallpaper will welcome new Ohio State students
First Digital Flagship iPad Wallpaper Contest winners announced
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The digital wallpaper that will greet thousands of new students at The Ohio State University orientation next month is a complex but lighthearted take on the student experience. It’s the artistic creation of third-year industrial design major Nadia Ayad.
“I wanted it to be something that encourages you to explore your options here,” she said.
Ayad’s is the winner of the first Digital Flagship iPad Wallpaper Contest. The contest is an annual opportunity for undergraduate students with art and design interest to have their work featured on the home screens of the largest mobile technology implementation in higher education. Ayad’s drawing will be pre-loaded on more than 10,000 devices distributed in the new academic year.
Her winning design is a quirky mix of images sure to evoke moments of a student’s life on campus. Doodles of pizza and doughnuts share the canvas with symbols from chemistry, agriculture and sport.
Ayad said the inspiration was deeply personal. She said when she was a first-year student at Ohio State, she struggled to connect.
“I couldn’t find my thing right away and it was really uncomfortable. So I just wanted to make something that had a tiny motif for everyone in it,” she said.
Ayad is a member of Smart Campus and the Amateur Radio Organization for Undergraduate Student Entertainment student organizations. She’s found her groove at Ohio State and hopes others will look at her illustration and do the same.
“Go with things that feel intuitive to you or that you’re naturally interested in. Don’t push things aside that you’re drawn to,” she said. “Especially here at Ohio State where there are a million options and so many people to help you.”
In addition to having her design displayed for all first-year students to see, Ayad will receive an iPad Pro, Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil and a protective case. It’s the same technology suite at the heart of Ohio State’s Digital Flagship initiative.
New first-year students at the Columbus and regional campuses will receive the suite at orientation as part of the initiative. The technology integration is designed to support student success and prepare students for a modern, mobile workforce.
And the tools are only one part of the initiative. Digital Flagship will also bring an iOS design laboratory to support the development of new apps, and coding curriculum to help students learn the Swift coding language. Students will have access to coding resources, business partnerships and professional development opportunities through the design lab.
Ayad said the initiative is an exciting opportunity for new students on campus. For some of her peers, there is a struggle between technology and art. As designers, using computer-assisted tools, her classmates have debated the roles of humans and software in the creative process.
“For me, I’m just excited to embrace those things and know that the traditional methods are still there, but all of these tools can heighten any of your work,” she said.
Ayad wasn’t the only winner. Camille Victor, a second-year strategic communications major, was the runner-up in the contest. Her photo illustration melds an image of Ohio Stadium with students cheering while showered in a burst of colorful light.
“To me, it just sums up the overall experience of elation from football games as well as welcome week or the spring concert where everyone comes together,” Victor said. “That air of excitement that everyone gets to share together.”
Victor will receive an iPad Pro package and will have her image available for download both on the iPad and on the Digital Flagship website.
Students Michaela Sobecki, Stephanie Homan and Ziwei Jin rounded out the top five submissions. All of the designs are available for download at the Digital Flagship website.