The two-day “NIH/FDA COVID-19 Research Workshop,” held virtually in October 2020, showcased what scientists at NIH and FDA are doing to fight SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The workshop took the place of the NIH’s annual research festival, which was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The past 10 months have been challenging for many of us. With the outbreak of COVID-19, we have had to endure unprecedented challenges and adjust to sudden disruptions in our lives. As our second wave of COVID-19 cases and the cold weather arrive, we face even more challenges. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we all be cognizant of our mental health and wellness and of the well-being of our friends and colleagues.
Visual Sandwiches: Lantern Slides from NCI’s Tissue Culture Section
BY MICHELE LYONS, CURATOR
There’s a lot of hands-on work in a museum, much of it involving dust and some sneezing. But the thrill of holding and preserving something created by someone decades before you were born is what keeps a curator reaching for dust masks. Recently, I went through many such masks cleaning and photographing 199 lantern slides dating from the 1940s through the 1960s. And I loved every minute.
At NIH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Kick-Off Event, held in December 2020, six frontline health-care workers at the NIH Clinical Center, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, and others received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that was codeveloped with NIAID.
Read about NIH scientific advances and discoveries by intramural scientists: how color processing is organized in the brain; a common antibiotic is effective against Zika virus; the PIEZO2 gene helps us know when to urinate; the gut trains the immune system to protect the brain; and more.
In a new study published in Nature Communications, NIAMS researchers identify defects in the wound-healing process that might explain why such wounds heal slower or not at all. The scientists also pinpoint a critical step in the pathway, the series of events contributing to wound repair, that might be a good target for developing new treatments for diabetic foot ulcers.
Jaydira del Rivero is one of the world’s few specialists in rare cancers that originate in the body’s neuroendocrine system, which is made up of specialized cells that make hormones in response to neurological signals. Her goal is to treat these tumors holistically—using a biological approach as well as taking the whole patient into consideration.
We often associate microbes with disease. But the Human Microbiome Project has shown that people live in a mutually beneficial relationship with trillions of microbes on and in their bodies. Some human diseases are associated with alterations in the microbiome. NHGRI Senior Investigator Julie A. Segre, who is exploring the skin microbiome, explained the dichotomy in her Anita Roberts Lecture titled “Human Microbiome: Friend or Foe,” on November 3, 2020.
For Johns Hopkins professor Lisa Cooper, COVID-19 health disparities are the result of both infectious disease and social pandemics. Her recent JAMA editorial, “A New Kind of Herd Immunity,” ascribes a social definition to the commonly known public health term. Similar to COVID-19, social deprivation is an infection that spreads within communities and is invisible.
NEWS FROM AND ABOUT THE SCIENTIFIC INTEREST GROUPS
Two new SIGS: The Rural Health Interest Group is a trans-disciplinary group of NIH scientists who provide scientific leadership, vision, and support to strengthen rural-health research; the Religion, Spirituality, and Health Scientific Interest Group aims to foster communication, promote collaboration, and facilitate the exchange of information, understanding, and resources concerning the impact of religion and spirituality on health and health outcomes.
News about events, deadlines, lectures including contributing to “Behind-the-Mask” initiative finding volunteers for clinical trials, new lecture series on women’s health, Demystifying Medicine, Wednesday Afternoon Lectures, and more.