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Preventative HIV Vaccine Candidate Triggers Desired Immune Responses in Humans and Monkeys, and Protects Monkeys from Infection
. More than three decades after the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), scientists are still working to develop a preventative vaccine that could finally put an end to the epidemic for which there are nearly two million new infections each year. In a new study, published July 6 in The Lancet, a team of researchers led by Dan H. Barouch, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at BIDMC in collaboration with Janssen Vaccines & Prevention and other partners, evaluated a series of preventative HIV vaccine regimens in uninfected human volunteers in five countries. In a similarly designed study, Barouch and colleagues tested the same vaccine for its ability to protect rhesus monkeys challenged with an HIV-like virus from infection. The findings showed the vaccines induced robust and comparable immune responses in humans and monkeys and protected monkeys against acquisition of infection.
. A study published in Science Translational Medicine, suggests that opioids can restore a narcoleptic person’s ability to produce a neurotransmitter crucial to regulating sleep – and because that same neurotransmitter seems to play a role in making people without narcolepsy vulnerable to addiction, finding a way to create the opposite effect may help treat it. Thomas E. Scammell, MD, Primary Investigator at the Sleep Disorders Clinic at BIDMC, who was not involved in the research, weighed in on the study findings. While he thinks the implications for understanding and treating addiction are exciting, he cautions that other safer treatments for narcolepsy are widely available.
. Some clinicians and health organizations view in-home digital technology as the future of healthcare and are studying different technologies to assist patients in the home. John Torous, MD, Co-Director of the Digital Psychiatry Program at BIDMC, suggests finding best practices can prevent potentially harmful consequences. “I think together we can learn how to use this technology in a productive, ethical and meaningful way, and it will have a bigger role in healthcare,” Torous said.
. Researchers at several hospitals are trying to reproduce the success reported by an emergency room doctor in Virginia in treating sepsis with a simple vitamin cocktail. Michael Donnino, MD, Physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at BIDMC, is leading one of the studies that involves about 200 patients at a wide number of hospitals. Ari Moskowitz, MD, Pulmonary Care and Critical Care Specialist at BIDMC, who is working with Donnino on the study, said it will evaluate how well the treatment prevents organ injury along with survival rates.