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W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

MMI In the News  

November 13, 2018
Reader's Digest
Why the New Flu Drug Is a Game Changer
Everyone should still get their flu shots, but at least we're rolling into this year's flu season with a new weapon: a drug that stops the virus in its tracks.
Andrew Pekosz is quoted

Global Health NOW

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September 28, 2018
Medical Daily
Flu Season Is Starting: 5 Tips To Avoid Falling Sick
Since flu season is right around the corner, it is important to start taking preventative measures. The CDC estimates that influenza has annually resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses.
Andrew Pekosz is quoted.

September 26, 2018
Gene editing could eliminate mosquitoes, but is it a good idea?
Researchers have rendered a population of mosquitoes in a lab sterile using the gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 by homing in on a specific target in insect DNA -- the doublesex gene -- raising the possibility of eradicating disease-carrying species of the insect entirely, according to a new study
Conor McMeniman is quoted.

September 8, 2018
Consumer Reports

Is It Too Soon to Get the Flu Vaccine?
Last year’s season set new records both for numbers of children who died from flu and for flu-related hospitalizations. But should people get the shot now, before the flu even arrives in January and February?
Andrew Pekosz is quoted.

August 28. 2018
KJZZ 91.5 – Phoenix
Measles Cases Reach Record High In European Region, WHO Reports

The World Health Organization this week reported cases of measles have hit a record high in the European region.
Bill Moss joins the radio show and weighs in on the concerning increase in measles cases in some parts of the world.

August 21, 2018
The Baltimore Sun

There is no wall against infectious diseases
Biological threats continue to evolve, even as public focus careens from one crisis to another. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) of 2013 funded the agencies that maintain a focus on biosecurity, and that act is now up for reauthorization.
Rachel Evans, a PhD student in the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology, wrote the piece.

August 20, 2018
Video: The 7 Dwarfs Whistle While They Work To Fight Malaria
A Disney video details many of the important measures Americans took to protect themselves from malaria, getting rid of standing water, screening windows, papering over cracks in the walls, and even weeding ponds to make it easier for fish to eat mosquito larvae.
William Moss is quoted.

August 10, 2018
This EPA rule may expand asbestos use, and there’s one more day to give feedback
The training of new scientists has become a highly specialized endeavor that frequently emphasizes the acquisition of factual knowledge instead of skills that are essential for good scientific practice, such as critical thinking, rigorous research design, analysis, and philosophy of science.
Gundula Bosch and Arturo Casadevall wrote the article.

July 30, 2018
Everyday Health
FDA Approves New Drug to Treat Recurrent Malaria
Malaria caused by recurrent Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) is a difficult-to-treat and life-threatening condition that affects 8.5 million people a year. On July 20th, the FDA approved a new drug to help treat this problem.
David Sullivan is quoted

July 18, 2018
Men Might Recover Faster From Flue Than Women Thanks to a Special Molecule, Study Suggests
Due to a higher presence of a lung-healing protein, men may recover quicker from cases of the flu than women according to a recent study.
Sabra Klein is quoted.

July 13, 2018
The Scientist
Software-Based Chemical Screen Could Minimize Animal Testing
Worldwide, millions of animals are used for toxicity testing of compounds intended for human and environmental use. Now, toxicologists have developed software that can accurately predict the outcomes of assays.
Thomas Hartung is quoted.

July 12, 2018
One India
Zika virus infection may multiply risk of miscarriage, stillbirth
Zika virus could pose a far greater threat to pregnancy than recent studies of miscarriage and stillbirth in human infections have reported. This virus do not show any symptoms and thusraises concerns about the complications which are likely to arise from this condition.
Sabra Klein is quoted.

June 6, 2018
Measles vaccine recommended for those attending World Cup
Russia has also been heavily affected by the recent outbreak of measles, with more than 800 cases reported in 2018. Children and adults who are traveling to Russia for the World Cup -- which takes place between June 14 and July 15 -- should therefore make sure that they have received two doses of the measles vaccine.
Diane Griffin is quoted.

April 8, 2018
CBC (Canada)
The Kingdom: How Fungi Made Our World
Neither plants nor animals, fungi are the most underappreciated kingdom of the natural world. During a billion years of evolution, they’ve become masters of survival. And yet, fungi have also been integral to the development of life on Earth. In fact, neither land plants nor terrestrial animals would exist without them. Arturo Casadevall is quoted.

March 22, 2018
The San Diego Union Tribune
Common malaria resistance trait discovered in Scripps Research-led study
One-third of Africans carry a previously unknown mutation that appears to help them resist malaria, according to an international study led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute. If confirmed with more research, the discovery may lead to new malaria drugs, and have implications for the health of those who carry the genetic trait. Sean Prigge is quoted.

 March 14, 2018
The Genetic Literacy Project
CRISPR-edited mosquitoes could dramatically reduce more than 200 million annual cases of malaria
Swatting at mosquitoes is a great start, but if we really want to cut down on the hundreds of millions of malaria cases they cause every year, we're going to need some more effective weapons. Now, researchers from Johns Hopkins have used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool to engineer mosquitoes that are highly resistant to the malaria parasite, by deleting one specific gene. George Dimopoulos, study lead, is quoted.

March 13, 2018
Fox News
Johns Hopkins scientists genetically engineer malaria-resistant mosquitoes
Bloomberg School researchers engineered mosquitoes which are resistant to the malaria parasite, by deleting a gene called FREP1 which helps malaria survive in the mosquito’s gut. George Dimopoulos, study lead, is quoted.

March 8, 2018
ZME Science
CRISPR edit makes mosquitoes far less likely to pass malaria
Scientists used the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique to deactivate a gene in order to make mosquitoes less likely to get infected by parasites that cause malaria in humans. George Dimopoulos, study lead, is mentioned.

February 22, 2018
Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine
Outsmarting an Outbreak
Faculty Mention: Douglas Norris
Scientists may soon be able to predict potential outcomes of mosquito-borne illnesses, and quash new ones before they have a chance to spread.

February 17, 2018
Did Pox virus research put potential profits ahead of public safety?
In the brave new world of synthetic biology, scientists can now brew up viruses from scratch using the tools of DNA technology. The latest such feat, published last month, involves horsepox, a cousin of the feared virus that causes smallpox in people. Critics charge that making horsepox in the lab has endangered the public by basically revealing the recipe for how any lab could manufacture smallpox to use as a bioweapon.
Arturo Casadevall and Tom Inglesby are quoted. (Note: This story ran on NPR outlets across the country.)

February 15, 2018
Train PhD students to be thinkers not just specialists
Many doctoral curricula aim to produce narrowly focused researchers rather than critical thinkers. That can and must change, writes Gundula Bosch, program director of the School’s R3 Graduate Science Initiative, where students learn to apply rigor to their design and conduct of experiments; view their work through the lens of social responsibility; and to think critically, communicate better, and thus improve reproducibility. Arturo Casadevall, who founded the R3 program, is mentioned. 

February 9, 2018
Blue dye kills malaria parasites – but there is one catch
It's hard to imagine that a blue dye sold in pet food stores in the U.S. to fight fungal infections in tropical fish could be a potent weapon against malaria. A study published this week in The Lancet Infectious Diseases showed that might be possible. Bill Moss is quoted.

January 31, 2018
New York Magazine
Everything You Can Do to Prevent the Spread of Flu
Start with getting the flu shot. However, getting it doesn’t mean you’re immune to the flu. The piece includes advice from experts about actions you can take (and things you can buy) to fight the flu this season and stay healthy throughout the year.
Andy Pekosz is quoted.

January 25, 2018
The Star

Handkerchief nightmare? Beat the common cold by blowing your nose
During the first three days of a common cold, the sufferer is contagious - he or she can pass the cold on to others - so it is recommended that the person stay at home and gets as much rest as possible. Sabra Klein’s research is mentioned.

January 24, 2018
Runner's World
Here’s why you can’t (and shouldn’t) run away from the flu in 2018
Even for strong and healthy runners, this year’s flu is no joke. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), anywhere between 5 and 20 percent of the U.S. population contracts the flu each year. And according to the CDC’s latest report, the virus is particularly dangerous this season. Andrew Pekosz is quoted.

January 23, 2018
Mosquito-packed drones could give extra bite to Zika fight
Spraying thousands of chilled, sterile mosquitoes from specially adapted drones could prove a cost-effective way to slash numbers of the insects and curb the spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases, say the backers of the technology. WeRobotics, a non-profit trialing the method, plans to start mosquito-release tests shortly in Latin America. Conor McMeniman is quoted.

Can You Get Sick from the Flu Shot? Here's What the CDC Has To Say

The CDC says that getting a flu shot does not cause the flu illness, since the vaccine is made either with an inactivated virus that's not infectious, or no virus at all. An inactivated virus means that the virus has been killed. The flu shot may cause a reaction, but it does not cause the flu. Andrew Pekosz is quoted.

January 19, 2018
Gates Foundation funds research for new synthetic malaria vaccine
The Wistar Institute will collaborate with the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) on the research initiative, which was created in the lab of David B. Weiner, Ph.D., executive director, Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center, The Wistar Institute. Weiner is a molecular immunologist and considered a DNA vaccine pioneer. The Malaria Research Institute is mentioned.

January 4, 2018
Co-Authored Biomedical Papers List Men as First Authors More Frequently Than Women

Even papers that indicated authors had “contributed equally,” male-female listing was statistically more frequent than female-male listing, the study finds. Arturo Casadevall, study co-author, is quoted.

January 3, 2018
Biomedical science education needs a new philosophy
Perspective: Let’s Put the ‘Ph’ Back in Science PhD Programs

Pilot program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health aims to close gaps in graduate science education. Gundula Bosch and Arturo Casadevall, study co-authors, are quoted.