Science & Medicine News




Promising Advance in MS Fight    A new study has pointed researchers toward a promising treatment for multiple sclerosis, which affects about one in 1,000 people in the United States. The research suggests that a single agent may halt the immune system’s attack on nerve cells that leads to multiple sclerosis, and that clinicians can clear patients’ brains of destructive T cells by treating the patients with a single peptide. Until now, researchers had suspected that a complex mixture of many compounds might be necessary to halt the symptoms of the disease. The finding is based on studies of mice with a disease that researchers believe models multiple sclerosis. The results were published in the Jan. 25 issue of Nature.

Terman Fellowships    Frederick E. Terman Fellowships, which provide recipients with up to $100,000 annually for three years, have been awarded to six young science and engineering faculty members. The new fellows, who all hold the rank of assistant professor, are Barbara Block, Hopkins Marine Station; Kenneth E. Goodson, mechanical engineering; John H. Griffin, chemistry; Jun Liu, statistics; Alfred M. Spormann, civil engineering; and Jennifer Widom, computer science and electrical engineering. Their research topics range from developing more effective antibiotics to investigating how bacteria move. The fellows program was launched in 1994 with a $25 million gift from William Hewlett and David Packard. The two alumni of the Electrical Engineering Department and founders of the Hewlett-Packard Co. endowed the fellowships as a tribute to the late provost Terman. The fellowships are designed to help young scientists, who face increasing competition for federal grants that enable them to establish their own laboratories and recruit graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Lymphoma Treatment    Radiation therapy targeted at the cellular level can halt the advance of lymphoma while avoiding major drawbacks of chemotherapy, researchers have reported. A Stanford team treated 18 patients who had relapses of low- or medium-grade non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after chemotherapy. “Not only did [the treatment] work better for most of the

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