This Week in Science (5/16/14-5/21/14)

Custom fit hip surgery
Researchers from the University of Southampton, England for the first time made a titanium hip to custom fit a patient undergoing her seventh hip surgery. They used her CT scan and computer aided design as well as computer aided manufacturing technology to implant a new socket for the ball of the femur bone to enter.

The science behind finding your soul mate
Recent research from University of Colorado, Boulder suggests that spouses are more genetically related. According to the study, we are more likely to select mates who have similar DNA as ours compared to randomly selected individuals from the same population. The researchers determined this by examining the genomes of 825 American couples.

Alpha waves and the brain
Alpha waves were once thought to emerge when we dozed off and the brain went on idle mode. However, according to Pr. Ole Jensen from Radboud University, Netherlands, the alpha frequency is much more important. His theory postulates that these frequencies allow the brain to concentrate on the task at hand, thereby stopping the brain’s activity from other parts of the brain.

Let there be no pain
Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine found the enzyme (PIP5K1C) that is responsible for signaling body pain. The team also discovered a compound (UNC3230) that could decrease the activity of PIP5K1C. The researchers found that reducing the enzyme and compound levels decreases pain. This finding could lead to a new kind of pain reliever. Experiments are currently underway to form an effective drug that contains this compound.

JASBIR KAUR can be reached at science@theaggie.org.