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Gene Self-Correction in ‘Chromosome Caps’ Can Beat Mutations, Help Prevent Blood Cancers


Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists have discovered several “self-correcting” mutations in bone marrow that may protect people with shortened telomeres — caps on the ends of chromosomes — from certain blood cancers. Graphic shows location of telomeres and photomicrograph shows human chromosomes with telomeres marked by fluorescent dyes. Credit: Graphic created by M.E. Newman, Johns Hopkins Medicine, using public domain images from the National Human Genome Research Institute (telomere diagram) and the National Cancer Institute (chromosome photomicrograph).   People with rare disorders that cause shortened telomeres — protective caps that sit at the end of chromosomes — may be more likely … Continue reading

Atlas of Aging and Immunotherapy Biomarkers


The molecular data types studied with respect to patient age in cancer. Credit: Bioender A retrospective analysis of large datasets of biomarkers from tumors and healthy tissue by researchers at the  Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Convergence Institute suggests that older cancer patients could benefit as much as younger patients from cancer immunotherapies. The findings, published online August 24, 2021 in Cell Reports, provide support for potentially expanding the use of these promising therapies in the elderly, a population in which immunotherapies may be under prescribed. “The interaction between age, immunity, and cancers has been understudied, particularly with the rise of cancer immunotherapies,” … Continue reading

‘Leaky’ Heart Valves in Pregnant Women Need More Attention Than Once Thought, Study Suggests


Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine suggest regurgitant or “leaky” heart valves, thought to be relatively benign during pregnancy, may put women at risk for complications during childbirth. Credit: Getty Images Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine suggest regurgitant or “leaky” heart valves, thought to be relatively benign during pregnancy, may put women at risk for complications during childbirth. Credit: Getty ImagesAn analysis of more than 20,000 individual medical records suggests that a form of heart valve disease thought to be relatively benign during pregnancy may put women at risk for serious bleeding, high blood pressure, organ damage and other complications during … Continue reading

Laboratory Test Aimed at Distinguishing Breast Cancer from Benign Tumors


Juanjuan Li, M.D., first author of study. Credit: Dr. Manman Shi   A novel laboratory test in development by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center may be used to help quickly distinguish breast cancer from benign disease. The breast cancer detection assay (BCDA) examines cells from enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit adjacent to a breast and finds chemical markers that indicate metastatic breast cancer or a benign condition, such as an infection. If validated in larger studies, this test could be used in outpatient settings to help providers more quickly determine the extent of disease and more effectively design … Continue reading

Vaccines Effective Even Without Post-Shot Symptoms or Prior Infection


Transmission electron micrograph of a SARS-CoV-2 particle (left) alongside a model of the virus (right). Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have shown that mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are effective even if a person does not experience post-shot symptoms or had a prior COVID-19 infection. Credit: Both the micrograph and the model are courtesy of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health Vaccination with the two messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, yields a robust antibody response, even if a person did not develop significant symptoms following vaccination or did not have … Continue reading

Stiff Blood Vessels Linked to Enzyme That Fosters Cell ‘Chatter’


Graphic showing the enzyme tissue transglutaminase (TG2) superimposed on a photomicrograph of cardiac muscle tissue. A Johns Hopkins Medicine study provides evidence that lack of TG2 prevents muscle cells from “chatting” with each other, potentially leading to stiffening of the heart’s blood vessels and cardiovascular disease. Credit: Graphic created by M.E. Newman, Johns Hopkins Medicine, using public domain images. TG2 image courtesy of J.F.D. Wolff. In a study in mice, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found that the smooth muscle cells lining the walls of blood vessels can lose their elasticity and lead to vascular stiffening, a condition that can … Continue reading

Sign Up for the Team Science Fundamentals Workshop Sept 22


OVERVIEW Increasingly, high impact science is conducted in teams. Managing these teams may seem straight forward initially, but these teams can be fraught with challenges like communicating across disciplinary boundaries, aligning goals and incentives, sharing resources and credit. These challenges become more complex within the context of COVID-19. A deliberate approach to planning and applying the science of teams to these collective scientific endeavors is required. The overall goal of this workshop is to provide attendees with an introduction to fundamental concepts of team science, with an emphasis on practical tools and strategies for building and managing effective research teams.

For Many, Long COVID Looks a Lot Like Chronic Fatigue


Two cells (darker color) in a cluster being attacked by free radicals (red molecules) and undergoing oxidative stress. Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers suggest that oxidative stress may cause the similar-type symptoms seen in both long COVID and ME/CFS (formerly known as chronic fatigue syndrome). Credit: Graphic created by M.E. Newman, Johns Hopkins Medicine, using a public domain image of animal cells courtesy of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Heal   A team of researchers, including two from Johns Hopkins Medicine, have published a review article highlighting similarities between certain lingering symptoms following COVID-19 illness — a condition called … Continue reading

Novel AI Blood Testing Technology Can ID Lung Cancers with High Accuracy


A novel artificial intelligence blood testing technology developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center was found to detect over 90% of lung cancers in samples from nearly 800 individuals with and without cancer. The test approach, called DELFI (DNA evaluation of fragments for early interception), spots unique patterns in the fragmentation of DNA shed from cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream. Applying this technology to blood samples taken from 796 individuals in Denmark, the Netherlands and the U.S., investigators found that the DELFI approach accurately distinguished between patients with and without lung cancer. Combining the test with analysis of … Continue reading

Inhibitor Drug Entinostat ‘Primes’ the Body to Better Respond to Anti-Cancer Treatment with Immunotherapy


The research discussed in the article was funded in part by the ICTR. Combining a histone deacetylase inhibitor drug with immunotherapy agents is safe, and may benefit some patients with advanced cancers that have not responded to traditional therapy, according to results of a phase 1 clinical trial led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and several other centers including University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Yale Cancer Center and City of Hope in Los Angeles, which participated in study enrollment, and the University of Southern California and University College Cork in Ireland, which collaborated on … Continue reading

Save the Date: Fall 2021 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration


If you’re new to working with the NIH grants process as an investigator or administrator, then mark your calendar for Monday, November 1 – Thursday, November 4 for a unique opportunity to learn, share and meet virtually with NIH and HHS experts. The NIH is offering a virtual seminar that you won’t want to miss! Here are our top five reasons: #1: Four days of sessions with live and simu-live sessions, as well as an on-demand video library #2: Three tracks designed around grants policies, processes, case-studies and Q&As #3: Live chats one-on-one with NIH & HHS experts on the … Continue reading