Skip Navigation
Fruit fly

Sex Change

Fiddling with one fruit fly gene can change stem cells’ identity.

Story by Salma Warshanna-Sparklin • Illustration by David Scharf/Science Source

Working with the fruit fly Drosophila, scientist Erika Matunis—from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine—and team discovered that testis cells have a nifty trick: the ability to switch from male to female. Turns out that Drosophila adult stem cells “know” their sex and can change it. For males that means no more sperm. Matunis will talk tiny testis at the JUNE 18-22 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. The Bloomberg School’s Janice Evans, PhD, co-chairs the annual meeting's advisory committee.

Why study Drosophila? 75% of the genes that cause disease in humans are also found in the fruit fly.


brain illustration

Waking Up to Sleep Research

Sleep scientists implicate bad sleep in a host of ills, from heart disease to Alzheimer’s disease.

Story by Jackie Powder • Illustration Adapted from Thanaphiphat/Thinkstock

Quality pillow time is increasingly seen as vital to good health. The inaugural Johns Hopkins Sleep and Circadian Research Day on JUNE 22 will highlight sleep research across the University.

“We’re finally recognizing that sleep is critical to a whole range of health outcomes,” says Adam Spira, PhD, associate professor in Mental Health and an organizer of the event. Spira and colleagues' research has linked shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality to higher levels of amyloid deposition—a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease—in the brains of older people.

Catching Enough Z's?

50-70 million U.S. adults have chronic sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other medical conditions.

40% of U.S. adults report unintentionally falling asleep at least once a month.

Source: NIH

Partners in Service

Partners in Service

If you want to work with the Baltimore community, go to the SOURCE.

Story by Jackie Powder • Photography by Will Kirk

Now in its 10th YEAR, SOURCE (Student Outreach Resource Center) serves as a conduit for matching volunteers from the Bloomberg School and the schools of Nursing and Medicine with an array of Baltimore partners that now number more than 100.

Opportunities abound to serve community-identified needs—from teaching health education to working with refugees to program design. In the classroom, more than 20 specialized courses feature SOURCE service-learning components, and the Center also offers interdisciplinary trainings for faculty, students and leaders in the community.

“Our partnerships are about working with the community vs. working on the community,” says Mindi B. Levin, MS, founder and director of SOURCE.

More Info: SOURCE

The Numbers: Source Volunteering

Volunteer hours from 2005 to 2015

Total volunteers from 2005 to 2015

Value of work between 2005 and 2015

SOURCE Service Scholars from 2012 to 2015

Baltimore community partners

MPH chair Marie Diener-West (right) and former students work at Art with a Heart, a SOURCE partner.

Back to Top

Back to Top