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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 7, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 16
In Brief


'Time' ranks SPH research first in 2007 medical breakthroughs

When Time magazine named its Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs for 2007, the No. 1 spot went to the work of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that showed definitively that male circumcision is a powerful HIV prevention tool. Principal investigator Ronald Gray and Maria Wawer, both professors in Population, Family and Reproductive Health, oversaw a randomized clinical trial in Rakai, Uganda, demonstrating that surgical circumcision reduced by more than 50 percent a man's chances of acquiring the HIV virus through sexual contact with women.

The dramatic findings led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to halt the Uganda research and another clinical trial in Kenya so circumcision surgery could be offered to men in the control groups. The World Health Organization and UNAIDS now endorse the procedure as part of a comprehensive prevention package for HIV-negative men.


Awards recognize mosquitoes engineered to beat malaria

Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, a professor with the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, was honored as one of Scientific American magazine's SciAm 50 for his work toward developing genetically modified mosquitoes resistant to malaria. The annual award recognizes 50 individuals, teams and organizations whose accomplishments in research, business or policymaking demonstrate outstanding technological leadership.

In March 2007, Jacobs-Lorena and his JHMRI colleagues published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that demonstrated that modified mosquitoes, resistant to malaria, could thrive in the laboratory when fed malaria-infected blood. These genetically engineered mosquitoes lived longer and produced more eggs compared to wild-type mosquitoes. Theoretically, mosquitoes resistant to malaria could be introduced into nature to replace malaria-carrying mosquitoes as one piece of a broader strategy to control the spread of malaria.


JHU Press partners with Maryland Historical Society

The Johns Hopkins University Press announced last week that it will provide promotion, marketing, warehousing and order fulfillment services for books published by the Maryland Historical Society, effective Jan. 1. MdHS Press will retain editorial autonomy and production control.

There is a natural affinity between America's oldest university press and Maryland's oldest continuously operating cultural institution, said JHUP Director Kathleen Keane. "In many ways our lists complement each other," she said. "Both presses are committed to scholarship and substance, and both presses publish in history and the Chesapeake Bay region."

In welcoming the agreement, MdHS Director Robert W. Rogers said, "While the MdHS Press has consistently produced books that have made significant scholarly and cultural contributions to the study of Maryland history, we have lacked the ability to market our books as widely as they deserve. This agreement will put the powerful marketing expertise of JHUP behind our publications, thereby bringing them to the attention of a much wider audience."


2007 issue of 'SAISPHERE' explores worldwide elections

For the 2007 issue of the School of Advanced International Studies' annual magazine, SAISPHERE, its editors asked faculty and others to explore the theme "The Power of Elections."

Articles include "Democracy or Development: Which Comes First?" by Francis Fukuyama; "In the U.S., It's Iraq," by Robert Guttman; "Putinism Without Putin?" by Andrew Kuchins; "Who Will Help the Iranian People?" by Azar Nafisi; "Latin America and the United States in a Year of Elections," by Riordan Roett; and "Elections Are No Cure-All," by Ruth Wedgwood.

An online version of this issue is available at /index.html.

To request a printed copy, contact Felisa Neuringer Klubes at or 202-663-5626.


APL technical lead for Japan's first ballistic missile flight test

Japan, the first U.S. ally to procure an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system and several Standard Missile-3s, successfully conducted its first flight test last month from the Hawaii- based Pacific Missile Range Facility. Behind the scenes of this historic flight test, Johns Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory, as the Aegis BMD program's technical direction agent, performed a wide range of activities that contributed to the event's success.

APL helped the Japanese Navy prepare for the test by planning the mission scenario and conducting preflight predictions of the missile and weapon system's performance through hundreds of simulations. APL also helped determine the launch window and conducted debris analyses to ensure safety on the test range. A close-up look at intercept was captured by an APL-developed sensor package placed on the target, and the sensors collected video and infrared imagery of the ignition and burnout of the target's booster motors, and the booster's separation.

APL engineers are now analyzing the data and will update simulation models that could enhance the accuracy of future Japanese missile flight tests.

This was APL's 17th Aegis-based flight test since the series began in 1997.


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