Homo Celebrans Secundus — HPV Prevention: Persistence Conquers Warts

Posted 18 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

More celebrations of science and scientists. HPV, human papillomavirus virus vaccine has had a major effect on improving human health and preventing death from cervical cancer. The long-standing team of Douglas Lowy and John Schiller from the National Cancer Institute, NIH, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from US President Barack Obama November 20, 2014 in the White House. Doug Lowy first published on viruses in 1971; he kept studying and understanding viruses, and eventually his team developed... Read more

Homo Celebrans — Man: the only animal that celebrates its accomplishments

Posted 16 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

What distinguishes man from other creatures? Certainly the religious and philosophical implications of that question have created terabytes of information and many of the world’s religions. The British Blue Tit in England learns and remembers that shiny caps on milk bottles can be punctured with its beak to yield a rich, fatty meal. Your pet remembers many events and behaviors, although it does not have a great internal clock for celebrating its birthday, or its winning of the Westminster Kennel... Read more

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (Ingrown Hairs) and Dental Cavities

Posted 9 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Pseudofollicultis Barbae (PFB) is a vexing chronic disorder common in those of African descent and often exacerbated by shaving. Those African Americans who must be clean shaven for their occupation may suffer disproportionally.  PFB is very highly associated with a polymorphism in keratin of the hair sheath, KRT75. KRT75 is in the companion layer of the root sheath and also in the medulla. (A different mutation is responsible for the loose anagen syndrome.) Duverger et al report that teeth, and especially... Read more

Skin Cancers — Causes and Treatment

Posted 24 November 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

The JID Milestone Series allows both experts and non-experts to delve into the broader context of diseases and their biology in a comprehensive fashion. Now, the Milestones series has a new posting on the biology and etiology of skin cancers. There are wonderful time lines for understanding the effects of the immune response, viruses, DNA repair, and external agents in causing and modifying skin cancers. Copy the time lines with proper attribution for lectures to both scientists and the general... Read more

Controversy: A Dermatology TED Conference: A Lot in Storrs for You

Posted 10 November 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

by guest blogger Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University   This year’s Storrs Lectureship is undoubtedly one of the most unusual meetings I have ever attended.  I don’t want you to interpret “unusual” as a code word for “bad,” but you can interpret it as “unconventional.” The typical didactic format was abandoned in favor of short, TED-type presentations followed by abundant discussion. The lectureship is designed to reflect “Fran Storrs’ mission” in a “Fran Storrs’ way.” For... Read more

Montagna 2014: An immortal organism?

Posted 13 October 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Contributed by Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University   At Montagna this year, I experienced an intellectual excitement surrounding the discovery of aging processes and mechanisms, but also appreciated that this field is driven by a particular human urge to understand and attain longevity, and perhaps immortality. Both our minds and hearts were stimulated to support discovery of ways to prevent and treat aging disorders such as Werner and Hutchinson-Guilford Progeria syndromes, as discussed by Ray Monnat... Read more

Montagna 2014: The quest for the fountain of youth

Posted 13 October 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Contributed by Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University   The Friday and Saturday Montagna sessions were spectacular – both because of the quality of the presentations and because of the audience engagement! The speakers could barely get off the stage because of all the questions. It’s impossible for me to capture the enthusiastic tone of the meeting.   It’s also remarkable that the meeting, though centered on aging, is proving to be a study in the nature... Read more

Montagna 2014: Live and let die – are mutations a key to aging skin?

Posted 13 October 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Contributed by Sancy Leachman, MD, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University   Welcome to Montagna 2014! It is hard to believe that this is the 63rd annual Montagna Symposium on the Biology of the Skin. For any of you unfamiliar with Montagna, it is the only NIH-supported annual scientific meeting in Dermatology that focuses intensely on a rotating special topic of interest to dermatologists. And, it is held in a sequestered resort location where physicians and scientists with like minds... Read more

Alopecia areata: Hope for humans from helpful mice

Posted 27 August 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Cytotoxic T cells (CD8+NKG2D+) produce cytokines that interfere with human hair follicles, producing hair loss. Alopecia areata (AA) has been known in man for centuries. An appropriate and spontaneous natural mouse genetic model for AA was discovered a few decades ago in mice at Bar Harbor Laboratories in Maine, and it has been incredibly useful, as documented in several publications in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and other journals. The mouse model is especially important as new therapies for this... Read more

Editors’ Picks from Experimental Dermatology

Posted 1 August 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

The dark side of type XVII collagen Gostynski et al. identified a so far unrecognized function of type XVII collagen (COL17). Based on detailed clinical observations, the authors demonstrated that in human skin, melanocytes’ supply to the epidermis depends on COL17 expression (Gostynski et al, 2014). This striking discovery was found by the clinical observation of revertant skin in patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), characterized by genetic deficiency of type XVII collagen (COL17), laminin-332, or type VII collagen (COL7). In... Read more