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Johns Hopkins University

  1. ‘Functional Cure’ Developed For Infants With HIV

    A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Mississippi have announced that a new type of treatment using standard HIV drugs has the potential to be a functional cure for children who were born with the disease. That's great news, and certainly impressive, but it leaves us wondering -- what exactly does a 'funtional cure' mean for people living with HIV and AIDS?

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  2. Scientists Say Europa, Not Mars, Is Best Place To Search For Life

    Searching for life on Mars is all the rage right now. We've covered the Curiosity rover mission quite a bit here at Geekosystem, because NASA shot a robot at a planet, landed it safely on the surface, and now that robot is drilling and sending back data. That's amazing. As amazing at it is, though, some scientists think we should be using our resources to look for life in a more likely spot -- Jupiter's moon Europa.

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  3. Crater On Mars May Have Once Been A Lake

    It seems like just last week we were singing the praises of the oft-overlooked Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Over the weekend, the Mars satellite sporting one of the coolest cameras this side of the asteroid belt announced new data suggesting a surface formation on the Red Planet long held to be an impact crater may have been misinterpreted. The MRO's new analysis of the geology at the 57 mile-wide Mclaughlin Crater turned up evidence that the massive impact formation may have been a Martian lake at one point in its history -- and that the lake may have been fed by plentiful groundwater long ago in the planet's past.

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  4. Never Say Never: Surgeons Make Thousands Of Inexcusably Dumb Mistakes Every Year

    There is a certain class of boneheaded mistake that is supposed to be so rare in surgical settings that it's referred to as a "never event" -- as in, this should never happen. The category covers mistakes that are not only grievous, but totally preventable, like leaving equipment inside a patient, performing the wrong surgical procedure, or operating on the wrong body part -- or patient -- altogether. In news that will no doubt leave anyone going under the knife in the future shuddering, a recent study from Johns Hopkins University found that "never events" happen much more frequently than their name would imply. In fact, it appears that a more fitting title would be "4,000 times a year or so events."

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  5. Fountain of Youth Treatment Turns Blood Cells Back Into Stem Cells

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to give adult red blood cells a new lease on life. Using a little genetic tweaking and a short sharp shock of electrical current, the JHU team may have found a fast and reliable way to transform everyday blood cells back into pluripotent stem cells. Those cells could play a big part in the future of medicine, holding promising treatments for everything from cancer to organ replacements and transplants.

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  6. New AIDS Research Raises Hopes for Potential Vaccine

    Scientists at Johns Hopkins University say that they've developed a method that strips the AIDS virus of its deceptive abilities and could potentially allow the human body to fight off the disease. The research, published in the journal Blood, is a tantalizing breakthrough that researchers hope could someday lead to an effective vaccine against the disease, which kills about 1.8 million people every year. The new research is based on how the virus disguises itself from the human immune system and disrupts that system's ability to communicate effectively. The virus accomplishes this by stealing cholesterol from the "first responder" cells called plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). These cells normally signal T-cells, the body's heavy artillery, to defeat invaders. Instead, the AIDS virus "reprograms" pDCs to become hyperactive, which in inhibits the body's ability to fight off the virus. This new technique removes that cholesterol envelope from the virus, leaving the virus more or less defenseless.

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