Read Full Story The year was 1988. People were afraid. A total a 106,994 people had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and 62,101 were dead. Scientists were making progress, but there was no effective treatment. One night the evening news would feature protests by AIDS activists demanding faster drug approval. The next night the news featured parents demanding kids with HIV be barred from public schools.On May 6, 1988, Harvard President Derek Bok announced the establishment of the Harvard AIDS Institute (HAI) to expand and accelerate AIDS research at Harvard. “The conquest of AIDS will require the commitment of experts concentrated at the School of Public Health, the Medical School and its teaching hospitals as well as from many disciplines throughout the University,” said Bok. “The Institute’s mission is to focus our resources and redouble our efforts.”Bok named Myron “Max” Essex, a virologist at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), to lead the Institute. According to Essex, “HAI was the brainchild of Harvey Fineberg,” who was HSPH Dean at the time.“I wanted Harvard to declare a clear and compelling commitment to cope with the AIDS epidemic,” remembered Fineberg. “To deal with it not just as an intellectual problem, but as a practical and social problem. Max Essex was the obvious choice to lead the enterprise. He had been at the center of research on retroviruses and what later became HIV/AIDS research.”After arriving at Harvard in 1972, Essex quickly made his mark. He showed that feline leukemia was caused by a type of infectious disease — a retrovirus — which could also suppress the animal’s immune system. In the early 1980s, when the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta began investigating deaths in gay men with immunosuppression, Jim Curran, who led the investigation, called Essex for help and sent samples to his lab. Scientists were searching for the cause of what would later be named AIDS.Essex was one of the first researchers to hypothesize that a retrovirus was the cause of AIDS. Later, he and a graduate student, Tun-Hou Lee, identified gp120, the envelope protein of the virus which became the basis for HIV tests. Essex, graduate student Phyllis Kanki, and their colleagues discovered SIV, an AIDS-like virus in monkeys. They also identified HIV-2 in West Africa, a virus similar to but less lethal than the more common HIV-1.“It was a time when discoveries were happening almost monthly — major discoveries,” remember Richard Marlink, a young doctor who joined the Essex team. “Tun-Hou Lee and Phyllis Kanki and others were figuring out where the virus came from and how it worked.”As AIDS took hold in the 1980s, Essex and his team collaborated with other scientists and clinicians in the Boston area, including Martin Hirsch, head of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital; William Haseltine, a molecular biologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; and Jerome Groopman, an oncologist studying AIDS-associated cancers at the Deaconess Hospital.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Sponsored Content Brought To You By Alure Home ImprovementsWhether it’s air-conditioning or heating season, leaks at home can cost you energy—and that adds up to money blowing in the wind. An estimated 65 percent of a homeowner’s utility bill is used to heat or cool the indoors. Don’t let it go to waste. Weatherization is the solution. That means examining your outside doors and windows for cracks around the frames and filling them in with caulk. You might also want to check your attics, basements or crawl spaces for any gaps because they too can be a problem.Thanks to this recent installment of the “60 Second Fix: How To Caulk An Exterior Door In 60 Seconds,” featuring Alure Home Improvement’s chief operating officer Doug Cornwell, you’ll learn the simple steps required to get the most of your caulking experience. Since you’re doing the exterior of your house, you want to make sure that you select the right caulk so it will withstand any kind of weather. Silicone, not acrylic, caulking is preferred, because it is permanently waterproof, flexible, and shrink- or crack-proof. Remember, caulk is not an adhesive—it won’t bond wood together, or tiles to a wall or a floor. And here’s something else to consider: If the crack is wider than half an inch, you might have to get a foam rod that you can wedge into place before you caulk.So, once you have the proper caulk, you’ll need the caulk gun to squeeze it out of the tube properly. Don’t leave the hardware store without it.Preparation is also important. You don’t just apply new caulk on top of old caulk. It won’t work effectively. Use a razor blade or a sharp knife to remove the old caulk first so you remove any mold or mildew that might have collected on the surface. Next, clean the crack with a rag dampened with a household cleaner or rubbing alcohol, or a wire brush. Then wipe the area with a clean cloth because you want to make sure that the surface is clean, dry and free of grease, dirt and dust before you begin to caulk.Okay, now you’re ready to caulk, and this is where Cornwell comes in with his expertise to improve your technique.“When you’re opening a tube of caulking,” Cornwell says, “you want to make the smallest hole possible at the end of the tip.”As Cornwell puts it: “Less is more.” How wide a hole you need depends on the width of the crack, of course. But a professional-looking bead, which is what a line of caulk is called, begins with the properly sized opening. A cut near the tip produces a thin bead, a cut further down the nozzle yields a thick bead.Next, you’ll have to break an inner seal on the silicone tube before you insert the tube into the caulk gun. Take a stiff metal wire or a similar-sized object like a nail and poke it through the tip until you feel it break the seal. Many caulk guns come with just the right sharp tool for this function. Cornwell shows how it’s normally folded along the gun when it’s not needed.And there’s a thin rod that’s part of the caulking gun about the size of a 10-penny nail [?] and insert that through the tip to free the passageway, to make sure the caulk can travel freely… from the tube to the tip…Once you’re sure the caulk will flow freely, insert the tube of caulking into the gun and squeeze the trigger a couple of times so the small metal plate attached to the rod advances into the flat bottom of the tube and begins to exert pressure.“Make sure it’s snug and ready to go,” Cornwell says. You should be able to see the caulk fill the tip and be ready to emerge.Caulking novices might want to practice on cardboard first, but not Doug Cornwell, he’s an old pro, and he goes right to work.“One thing you want to keep in mind when you’re caulking, whether you’re caulking a door, a window, or even a wine bottle, you want to keep constant, even pressure,” he advises.“As hard as you squeeze is as fast as you want to move,” Cornwell says. “If you want to squeeze very hard, you have to move very fast. It’s got to be tempo: tempo, tempo, tempo!”For a doorway or window frame, he says, “You always start at the top corner and work your way down.”Hold the caulk gun at a 45-degree angle and press the tip right into the corner. Then start squeezing the trigger as you slide the tip downward, making sure the flow produces a nice, constant bead of caulk.Steady as it goes is the key. Watch Cornwell as he keeps the pressure even, and the caulk flowing out smoothly. He follows along, bending when necessary to maintain the proper angle.Click here to learn more about Alure Home ImprovementsNext comes what the experts call “tooling,” which means smoothing the bead. This step is just as vital to the task and should not be skipped. Cornwell recommends taking a paper towel, dampening it with a little bit of water. Then moisten your fingertip, which turns out to be the perfect “tooling” device here, and run your finger very lightly over the bead.“Go over the caulk to make sure it bridges both surfaces and the crack is filled,” Cornwell says.When you’re confident the crack is “caulked,” then use the damp paper towel to wipe the excess residue off your finger.And there you have it.