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Remember Biofuels?
By Greg Hanscom
Fuels made from plants, algae, and even garbage may have fallen off the popular radar, but your next airline flight may run on biofuels.
The Garden in Your Gut
By Amanda Kolson Hurley
Inside the complex ecology of the human microbiome and how your “second brain,” composed of trillions of microbes, influences your health.
You Curing You
By Deborah Rudacille
Johns Hopkins researchers are discovering new therapies to trigger the body’s immune system response in the fight against cancer.


Expert Advice
How do I help my picky kids pick good food?
New findings in health, including the benefits of mentoring, treating the terrible twos, and what to do about those sell by dates.
Ten Things
10 Ways to Mitigate Migraines
Just Curious
Why has Lyme disease become so prevalent?
Book Report
What you should be reading.
Benjamin Ginsberg on the potential value of violence.
Apps, gadgets, and other innovations that are advancing health and health science.
Cancer survivor Elizabeth Edsall Kromm’s journey to motherhood.
News from the cutting edge of research: How babies learn, vaccinating mosquitoes, and predicting autoimmune disorders.
Pianist and composer Michael Hersch is on the composition faculty at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. His music has premiered in concert halls around the globe.
The Rise of Lyme Disease
By K.T. Ramesh, Mechanical Engineer Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering

Letter from the Editor

Catherine Pierre
Catherine Pierre

Not long ago, my local grocery store added a new cold case display. Tucked between the coconut milk and the canned beans, a refrigerator is now filled with fermented beverages claiming better digestive health.

Next to them are bottles of expensive probiotics in specialized formulas for kids, men, and women—all vowing to help prevent or treat some illness or other. Add to these the myriad products promising more energy, a healthier heart, and less inflammation, and suddenly the food market can look a lot like a pharmacy. But do probiotics really work? We put that question to experts here at Johns Hopkins. In “The Garden in Your Gut” [p. 26], you’ll learn about the fascinating discoveries happening around the human microbiome.

Speaking of putting good things in your body, in this issue's "Expert Advice"? [p. 8], dietitian Susan Oh gives tips for fostering healthy eating habits in your kids; neurologist Lee Peterlin offers ideas for mitigating migraine headaches in "10 Things"? [p. 11], including adding healthy late night snacks to your diet; and  endocrinologist Kendall Moseley explains how much calcium  we need to keep our bones healthy in "Survey"? [p. 21].

And remember when we were going to use corn, leftover kitchen grease, and other comestibles to run our cars? Research-ers are still pursuing the idea, and some commercial flights are now fueled by food. In "Remember Biofuels?" [p. 48], reporter Greg Hanscom goes inside the alternative energy industry to see whether biofuels might make a dent in fossil fuel consumption.

Enjoy the issue, and as always, feel free to send your comments to us via email


Greg Hanscom
Greg Hanscom

Greg Hanscom (“Remember Biofuels?”) has covered the environment and energy for close to two decades. A former editor of Urbanite magazine in Baltimore, he is now editor-in-chief of, a nonprofit media organization based in Seattle, where he lives with his wife and their two young daughters. PAGE 48

Caroline Andrieu
Caroline Andrieu

The daughter of a French printmaker  and a Slovakian librarian, Caroline Andrieu (Letter page and Breakthrough portraits) draws inspiration from many sources and disciplines, from graphic novels to the surrealist work of Dali­. She has been art director for Conde© Nast Digital France and the websites for Vogue and GQ. Other clients include Nylon, Variety, Lancome, and Abrams Books, for which she illustrated the Fashion Insiders'™ Guide to Paris.  PAGES 7, 36, 40, 44

Rachel Suggs
Rachel Suggs

Rachel Suggs ("Mind on Music" illustration) was born in San Antonio and currently resides in Baltimore, where she earned her BFA in illustration at the Maryland Institute  College of Art. She specializes in editorial and book illustration, as well as pattern design. PAGE 19

Deborah Rudacille
Deborah Rudacille

Deborah Rudacille ("You Curing You"?) teaches science writing and journalism at the Univer-sity of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is the author of Roots of Steel: Boom & Bust in an American Mill Town, a workers' history of the Sparrows Point steelworks in Baltimore, and two other books. She earned her MA in science writing at Johns Hopkins. PAGE 58