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Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute

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Highlights

Media Coverage

 

September 26, 2018
CNN
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

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
NPR
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.

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

partment of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

 

MMI In the News

February 22, 2019
Newsweek
Anti-vax Religious Group Says Sorry For Helping Cause Massive Measles Outbreak
Japan has been undergoing its worst measles outbreak in at least a decade, and one religious order opposed to vaccinations has now apologized for its role in helping to spread the disease.
William Moss is quoted.

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February 11, 2019
Palm Beach Daily News
A Woman’s Journey health conference in West Palm Beach draws 300 people
Six health care subjects were covered at “A Woman’s Journey” presented by Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Palm Beach Daily News was one of the sponsors.
Sabra Klein was among the speakers at the 13th annual conference.

February 11, 2019
Newsweek
Children of Anti-Vaxxers Try To Get Vaccinated Without Their Parents Knowing
As Washington state deals with a measles outbreak that has caused at least 53 people—the majority of whom are unvaccinated children—to contract the potentially deadly disease, young people have asked how they can get vaccinated without their parents' knowledge. 
William Moss is quoted.

February 7, 2019
MSN
Measles Outbreak Predicted by Scientists a Year Ago
In a study published almost a year ago, scientists identified "anti-vaxx hotspots"—and the areas flagged include those where cases of measles are being reported. 
William Moss is quoted.

February 1, 2019
Newsweek
2019 Could Be Worst Year For Measles In U.S. For 30 Years: ‘Were Losing Ground To A Disease That Once Killed Millions’
Almost 20 years after measles was eliminated in the U.S., 2019 could see the highest rates of the dangerous disease in three decades, an expert has warned.  
William Moss is quoted.

January 30, 2019
Newsweek
‘In 12 Hours She Was Dead’: Read Roald Dahl’s Heartbreaking Letter to Anti-Vaxxers After His Daughter Died From Measles
A 1986 essay written by the late Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl about his daughter dying of measles has been shared widely online, as new outbreaks of the dangerous disease have given it fresh relevance.
William Moss is quoted.

December 21, 2018
Science Trends
How Do Living Cells Survive When Skipping A Paycheck?
Recent research on baker’s yeast uncovered a new way cells slow their growth down when nutrients are running low. This information from an improbable source provides new insight into a family of uncharacterized human genes, some of which cause severe neurological disorders, epilepsy, and possible autism when mutated.
J. Marie Hardwick wrote the piece.

December 3, 2018
Science News
Around the world, reported measles cases jumped 31 percent in 2017
Political unrest and refusal to vaccinate is driving the measles surge, health experts say.
Bill Moss is quoted.

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

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
CNN
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
NPR
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
STAT News

Graduate biomedical education needs an overhaul. Here’s our version
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
Newsweek
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
CNN
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 9, 2018
NPR
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 23, 2018
Reuters
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.

January 19, 2018
Forbes
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.

2017

December 11, 2017
Homeland Preparedness News
Johns Hopkins researchers discover fungus fueling dengue virus growth among mosquitoes

The fungus lives in the gut of certain mosquitoes, and its presence there helps dengue virus to survive in the insects–allowing them to spread it to humans. These results were published in eLife, along with researchers’ hopes to see them translated into a general indicator of dengue transmission risk and potential counters to it. George Dimopoulos, study lead, is quoted.

November 30, 2017
The Los Angeles Times
As parts of Zambia beat back malaria, the nation sets a lofty goal: zero transmissions
On a continent that has been ravaged by the mosquito-borne disease — and that has been losing ground recently despite expansive internationally funded efforts — the Eastern Province of Zambia stands out for its success. Between 2010 and 2016, the number of infections here fell 42% from 1.4 million to just under 805,000, and the number of deaths fell 91% from 2,862 to 248. Now Zambia hopes to replicate those successes nationwide with a lofty goal: zero new transmissions by 2021. Bill Moss is quoted.

October 31, 2017
Fox News
Smart mosquito trap could prevent spread of deadly diseases
Doctors hope a mosquito trap will prevent the spread of disease. The trap is smart enough to know what type of mosquito it’s trapping, and if by the small chance it catches the wrong one, it will learn from its mistake. Douglas Norris is quoted.

October 16, 2017
Voice of America
Latest Drug-resistant Malaria in Mekong Region May Skirt 'Superbug' Status
The superbug, first identified in 2008 in Cambodia, has spread into parts of Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. Last month, scientists from the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) published a letter in The Lancet saying the superbug's spread throughout the Mekong area was a serious threat to malaria control and eradication. David Sullivan is quoted.

October 11, 2017
Times Higher Education
Missed out on a Nobel prize? Here’s how to win one
Times Higher Education asked 50 Nobel prizewinners in science and economics – about 20 per cent of all living laureates in these fields – to offer the best advice that they could give to early career researchers to maximize their chances of making a Nobel-worthy breakthrough. Peter Agre is quoted.

October 5, 2017
Nature Podcast
Modifying mosquitos
George Dimopoulos
and Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena discuss their recent Science papers on genetic modifications that build malaria-resistance into mosquitos. The interview starts at 11:05.

October 3, 2017
The Guardian Nigeria
How microbes in mosquito’s gut assist to fight malaria
Two research teams have found that tinkering with mosquitoes’ resident microbes can help them spread resistance to the malaria parasite. One used “weaponized” bacteria to deliver parasite-stopping proteins to mosquito guts. The other found that mosquitoes with a malaria-blocking gene have an unexpected mating advantage thanks to their microbes. Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena and George Dimopoulos are quoted. Additional coverage in the New Zealand Herald: Genetically modified approaches to fighting malaria succeed in new tests.

October 2, 2017
Featured Research
Two papers by Malaria Research Institute researchers, one led by George Dimopoulos and the second by Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, that were featured in Friday’s In the News continue to receive media coverage. To learn more, please see the JHSPH news release and an article in The Hub.

September 6, 2017
Times Higher Education
Nobel laureate: ‘I fear young will lose confidence in academia’

Peter Agre said that funding is now “more difficult to get” and that although his generation of scientists has been successful, “the next generation may not” be. Peter Agre is quoted.

August 31, 2017
Times Higher Education
Populism and Polarisation ‘Threaten Science’, Nobel Laureates Say

In a historic poll of science’s leading figures, conducted to mark the opening of THE’s World Academic Summit at King’s College London next week, some 50 Nobel prizewinners in science, medicine and economics gave their views on a diverse set of issues ranging from university funding and academic mobility to the biggest threats facing mankind. Peter Agre is quoted.

August 21, 2017
The Pacific Standard
Engineering the End of Malaria
Founded by Microsoft’s former chief technology office, Nathan Myhrvold, Intellectual Ventures is developing breakthrough health-care technologies. Among them: a portable tool called the Autoscope, a standard clinical microscope paired with a laptop computer that runs custom image-recognition software that makes identifying malaria parasites much faster, which could speed up diagnoses and save lives. David Sullivan is quoted.

June 5, 2017
The Baltimore Sun
Op-Ed: A bleak future for science in the U.S.
Peter Agre
’s career, like that of countless other research scientists, has depended on a reliable stream of federal research funding. The administration’s proposed budget could up-end this. Agre calls upon the government to provide ongoing investments in the scientific enterprise.

April 26, 2017
The Advisory Board
$550M in US health care costs may come from a disease that's eradicated in America
Incidents of serious and fatal malaria are more common in the United States than previously reported, according to a study published Monday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. According to the study, the total cost of treating malaria patients in the United States from 2000 to 2014 was about $555 million. William Moss is quoted.

April 26, 2017
CNN
First malaria vaccine to be widely tested in Africa next year
The World Health Organization announced Monday that it has the go-ahead to try the first malaria vaccine in the field in real-world settings next year. The organization made the announcement on the eve of World Malaria Day. Photini Sinnis is quoted.

April 24, 2017
NPR
Malaria Wiped Out In U.S. But Still Plagues U.S. Hospitals
A new study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene finds that now roughly 1,500 people are hospitalized each year in the U.S. with malaria. Bill Moss is quoted.
The story appears on websites of many NPR affiliates nationally.

April 24, 2017
The Baltimore Sun
Hopkins gets $10 million federal grant to continue efforts to control, end malaria
Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute will continue its efforts to control and eliminate malaria in Africa with a seven-year, $10 million federal grant. Bill Moss is quoted.
Infection Control Today also covered the story.

March 3, 2017
Medical Xpress
Should we commit to eradicate malaria worldwide?
Researchers debate the merits of ramping up eradication efforts. Clive Shiff is quoted.

January 22, 2017
The Jamaican
Dengue-resistant mosquitoes UAE
Boosting mosquitoes’ ability to fight disease could reduce infection spread

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have genetically modified mosquitoes to resist infection from dengue virus, a virus that sickens an estimated 96 million people globally each year and kills more than 20,000, mostly children. George Dimopoulos, study lead, is quoted.

January 22, 2017
The New York Times
Rachel Carson, DDT and the Fight Against Malaria
A look at news from the past, and how it resonates today.
George Dimopoulos
is interviewed at the 10:05 mark of the accompanying video.

January 12, 2017
HealthDay.com via WebMD
Scientists Create Dengue-Resistant Mosquitoes
Hope is to eventually make the bugs fend off multiple infections, including Zika

Scientists say they have created mosquitoes resistant to the dengue virus, which might eventually help control the spread of the disease in humans. The team at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to boost their natural ability to fight infection by the virus. George Dimopoulos is quoted.

January 12, 2017
Smithsonian
To Fight Deadly Dengue Fever in Humans, Create Dengue-Resistant Mosquitoes
How manipulating the immune systems of mosquitoes can halt the spread of dengue virus

The dengue virus makes its home in a mosquito after the insect bites an infected human; it rarely passes between mosquitoes. Blocking that infection from ever occurring could effectively eliminate dengue virus.
George Dimopoulos, study lead, is quoted.