No Shot

A very interesting article ["Plantibodies v. Ebola," Forefront, Winter 2014] about studies into an Ebola therapy, which is critically needed with the ongoing outbreak in West Africa. I must, however, point out a confusing inaccuracy written in this article. There is an allusion to a "shot for malaria before traveling."

Malaria prophylaxis is typically taken in the form of a pill; the specific pill varies depending on the geographic area to which travel is to occur (e.g., chloroquine in chloroquine-susceptible areas; mefloquine or atovaquone-proguanil in chloroquine-resistant areas, and doxycycline in areas resistant to mefloquine/atovaquone-proguanil). I'm not aware of any shot that can be given to prevent malaria that is supported by current travel medicine guidelines, and there are no vaccines that exist for parasites.

You might learn more at the website for the PATH Malaria initiative: malariavaccine.org/malvac -vaccine-faqs.php

Lawrence C. Loh, SPH '10
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

What I Saw

Regarding the article "Heart of Darkness" [Spring 2015], some prisoners are not getting out of solitary for days at a time. The mentally ill languish for days as they don't initiate treatment or advocate for themselves. I saw this while working at a Virginia detention center. I had to leave, as the administration was not receptive to implementing change. The mentally ill suffer greatly for crimes like trespassing, public intoxication, or other misdemeanors. I also saw prisoners after beatings by police. One guy had to have facial reconstruction. Wake up, America; the mentally ill need help.

Amanda Woodward
Amissville, Virginia

Where's Gantt?

I'm astonished that in six pages of the article "Chasing the Legend" [Winter 2014], about Professor Daniel Todes' research on Ivan Pavlov, there is not one mention of W.H. Gantt. I realize the drift of this article was intended to describe Daniel Todes' departure from the usual history and recounting of Pavlov's accomplishments, but even so, when the tumultuous 1920s are mentioned and also the influence of Pavlov on American science, it is perplexing that there is no mention of the significant working professional relationship of Hopkins' W. Horsley Gantt with Pavlov and the wider network of Soviet scientists in neurophysiology.

In 1923, Gantt was working with the American Relief Administration to provide Soviet food supplies, and when he was introduced to Pavlov that year in Russia, the Encyclopedia Brittanica had already mistakenly published Pavlov's obituary. Soviet authorities reluctantly permitted Gantt to spend almost five years working with Pavlov until 1929, in which year Gantt accompanied Pavlov on his Cambridge, Massachusetts, visit. (In addition, I believe that Gantt's English translation of Pavlov's monograph on the conditional reflex was the first to be available in the U.S.)

Harvey L. Noyes, Bus '64, A&S '68 (MA)
Towson, Maryland

Progressive Hop

I really enjoyed very much the article by Shale Stiller, "The Earle of Homewood" [Winter 2014]. It was enlightening to learn of this remarkable scholar as well as the anti-Semitism he faced. I was, however, surprised and puzzled by the statement that the Mathematics Department was unfriendly to Jewish students.

When it came to hiring Jewish professors, Hopkins was very progressive at that time. For example, in 1877, J.J. Sylvester was invited to be a professor of mathematics at Hopkins because, being Jewish, he could not find employment in England. He was an outstanding mathematician in his day. Furthermore, Philip Hartman, another superb mathematician, received his PhD from Hopkins in 1938 and was later chairman of the department when anti-Semitism was on the decline. Solomon Golomb, another Jewish student who became an outstanding mathematician, earned his bachelor's degree at Hopkins, but later. Other distinguished Jewish mathematicians who taught at Hopkins include Tobias Dantzig, the father of George Dantzig who himself was the father of linear programming, Aurel Wintner, Nathan Jacobson, and Oscar Zariski.

Perhaps the author was unaware of these facts.

Allan Kroopnick, Engr '82 (MS)
Pikesville, Maryland

Breathe Easy

I hope the asthma researchers referenced in "Short of Breath," [Evidence, Spring 2015] will check with me and my asthmatic ilk before they spend a lot of time and money trying to determine if city people experience more asthma than their country cousins. Either city dwellers like me have evolved to the point that their/my lungs love—indeed depend on—foul city air, or researchers have never taken a bunch of asthmatic city kids out camping en plein country air in July. Nothing will more quickly and intensely bring on a blitz of sneezing, coughing, and wheezing for me than the latter.

Frank Mitchell
Columbus, Ohio

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