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Recent news from The Johns Hopkins University

This section contains regularly updated highlights of the news from around The Johns Hopkins University. Links to the complete news reports from the nine schools, the Applied Physics Laboratory and other centers and institutes are to the left, as are links to help news media contact the Johns Hopkins communications offices.

 

Hopkins Engineering, Campbell & Co. Create Partnership for Teaching, Internships

In a move that will give financial mathematics students increased exposure to strategic internships and to experts working in today’s ultra-competitive financial services field, The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering has entered into a partnership with Baltimore-based Campbell & Company, one of the oldest and largest investment management firms in the world.

Researchers Aim to Use Light—Not Electric Jolts—to Restore Healthy Heartbeats

When a beating heart slips into an irregular, life-threatening rhythm, the treatment is well known: deliver a burst of electric current from a pacemaker or defibrillator. But because the electricity itself can cause pain, tissue damage and other serious side-effects, a Johns Hopkins-led research team wants to replace these jolts with a kinder, gentler remedy: light. In a paper published Aug. 28 in the online journal Nature Communications, five biomedical engineers from Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook universities described their plan to use biological lab data and an intricate computer model to devise a better way to heal ailing hearts.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Huge Shake Tables Will Replicate an Earthquake Beneath a Two-Story Test Building in Buffalo

On Friday, Aug. 16, a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers will conduct final tests to see how a Southern California earthquake could impact a two-story office building. Inside a lab at the University at Buffalo in New York, two massive shake tables will be use to reproduce the strongest seismic forces recorded during the catastrophic Northridge earthquake in 1994.

Man-Made Quakes Could Lead to Safer, Sturdier Buildings

Earthquakes never occur when you need one, so a team led by Johns Hopkins structural engineers is shaking up a building themselves in the name of science and safety. Using massive moving platforms and an array of sensors and cameras, the researchers are trying to find out how well a two-story building made of cold-formed steel can stand up to a lab-generated Southern California quake.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Future Engineers Use Their Noodles to Build Bridges from Spaghetti

About 115 high school students will compete in the annual Spaghetti Bridge Contest, marking the culmination of a four-week summer course called Engineering Innovation. Using only dry spaghetti and epoxy, the students have designed and built bridges that the contest will test.

Johns Hopkins Receives Grant From Medtronic for Student Engineering Program Focused on Medical Devices for Developing Countries

Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical technology companies, has entered into an innovative partnership with The Johns Hopkins University, agreeing to provide $200,000 a year for up to three years and skilled mentoring to help biomedical engineering students design new healthcare solutions for underserved patients in developing countries.

Future Engineers Use Their Noodles to Build Bridges from Spaghetti

It’s suspenseful and nervewracking as students who’ve spent days designing and building bridges put their brittle creations to the test, gradually adding weight, kilo by kilo. Prizes and bragging rights go to the bridges that support the most weight – the record stands at 132 pounds. The event caps the university’s Engineering Innovation summer program for young people likely to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Solving DNA Puzzles is Overwhelming Computer Systems, Researchers Warn

Imagine millions of jigsaw puzzle pieces scattered across a football field, with too few people and too little time available to assemble the picture. Scientists in the new but fast-growing field of computational genomics are facing a similar dilemma. In recent decades, these researchers have begun to assemble the chemical blueprints of the DNA found in humans, animals, plants and microbes, unlocking a door that will likely lead to better healthcare and greatly expanded life-science knowledge. But a major obstacle now threatens the speedy movement of DNA’s secrets into research labs, two scholars in the field are warning.

Johns Hopkins Students’ Device Aims to Avert Repeated Breast Cancer Surgeries

When a breast tumor is detected, many women opt to have a lumpectomy, which is surgery designed to remove the diseased tissue while preserving the breast. But during this procedure, doctors cannot learn right away whether all of the cancerous tissue has been removed, with no microscopic signs that cancer cells were left behind. Because of this delay, one in five of these women—up to 66,000 patients annually in the U.S. alone—must return for a second surgery to remove remaining cancer. These follow-up operations boost healthcare costs and can lead to delays in receiving other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. To reduce the need for these second surgeries, four Johns Hopkins graduate students have designed a device to allow pathologists to quickly inspect excised breast tissue within 20 minutes, while the patient is still in the operating room.

New Campus Accelerator Aims to Turn High-Tech Ideas into Businesses

The Johns Hopkins University is set to unveil FastForward, a groundbreaking business accelerator that promises to spark cutting-edge technology companies and then keep them in the city to bolster the local economy. The university’s Whiting School of Engineering launched FastForward to help turn the best ideas born on campus into moneymaking ventures. The university’s first accelerator is located in the historic Stieff Silver building on the north side of Baltimore near the Homewood campus.

Johns Hopkins Students Win Two Top Awards in National Biomedical Engineering Contest

Johns Hopkins student-built devices—a blood clot detection system and a concealable, hands-free breast pump—have won two of the top three awards in a national contest that recognizes innovative biomedical engineering designs that have high commercial potential and social impact.

Media Advisory: Johns Hopkins FastForward Accelerator Grand Opening Set

The Johns Hopkins University is set to unveil FastForward, a groundbreaking business accelerator that promises to spark cutting-edge technology companies and then keep them in the city to bolster the local economy. The university’s Whiting School of Engineering launched FastForward to help turn the best ideas born on campus into moneymaking ventures. Four fledgling companies have already moved into the building.

Tiny Bubbles in Your Metallic Glass May Not Be a Cause for Celebration

Bubbles in a champagne glass may add a festive fizz to the drink, but microscopic bubbles that form in a material called metallic glass can signal serious trouble. In this normally high-strength material, bubbles may indicate that a brittle breakdown is in progress. That’s why Johns Hopkins researchers used computer simulations to study how these bubbles form and expand when a piece of metallic glass is pulled outward by negative pressure, such as the suction produced by a vacuum.

Researchers Explain Magnetic Field Misbehavior in Solar Flares: The Culprit is Turbulence

When a solar flare filled with charged particles erupts from the sun, its magnetic fields sometime break a widely accepted rule of physics. The flux-freezing theorem dictates that the magnetic lines of force should flow away in lock-step with the particles, whole and unbroken. Instead, the lines sometimes break apart and quickly reconnect in a way that has mystified astrophysicists. But in a paper published in the May 23 issue of the journal Nature, an interdisciplinary research team led by a Johns Hopkins mathematical physicist says it has found a key to the mystery.

New ‘Out of This World’ Space Stethoscope Valuable Here on Earth, Too

A team of students at the Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering has designed for NASA a new stethoscope that delivers accurate heart- and body-sounds to medics who are trying to assess astronauts’ health on long missions in noisy spacecraft.

Undergrads Adapt Video Game Unit to Help Save Kids Trapped In Overheated Cars

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: a young child is accidentally left in a locked car on a warm and sunny day. The closed windows turn the car into a greenhouse, and the child dies of heatstroke. In a key first step toward preventing such tragedies, three undergraduate engineering students at Johns Hopkins have turned technology from a popular video game player into a detector for children left behind in dangerously overheated vehicles.

Johns Hopkins University Commencement, Thursday, May 23

The event will take place, rain or shine, from 8:40 a.m. to approximately noon on Thursday, May 23, on Homewood Field. The ceremony will feature remarks from President Ronald J. Daniels and a speech by Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, the conferring of all degrees, and the bestowing of honorary degrees.

Media Advisory: 36 Baltimore City School Teams to Compete in Robotics Contest at Johns Hopkins

More than 100 Baltimore City Public middle and high school students will compete in the Hopkins Robotics Cup, the first Baltimore City VEX Robotics Championship, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, in the Newton White Athletic Center on The Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.

WEEKEND MEDIA ADVISORY: Robots That Dance—and Find ‘Tumors’

More than a dozen student teams from the Baltimore area will bring small autonomous robots to compete in various events during the competition, organized by Johns Hopkins graduate students from the university’s Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics. Contest events include slalom racing, mystery maze navigation, “tumor” detection, robot dancing and innovative use.

Johns Hopkins Team Deploys Hundreds of Tiny Untethered Surgical Tools in First Animal Biopsies

By using swarms of untethered grippers, each as small as a speck of dust, Johns Hopkins engineers and physicians say they have devised a new way to perform biopsies that could provide a more effective way to access narrow conduits in the body as well as find early signs of cancer or other diseases. In two recent peer-reviewed journal articles, the team reported successful animal testing of the tiny tools, which require no batteries, wires or tethers as they seize internal tissue samples.

Three Johns Hopkins Students Receive Prestigious Goldwater Scholarships

Three undergraduate researchers at The Johns Hopkins University are among the 271 students recently awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year. The one- and two-year funding the three Johns Hopkins students receive will help further their investigations in molecular dynamics, the biomedical science of disease, and developing a computational tool to help surgeons treat epilepsy.

Turning Algae into Clean Energy and Fish Food; Helping Africans to Irrigate Crops

Could algae that feast on wastewater produce clean bio-fuels and a healthful supply of fish food? Can impoverished African community gardeners learn to use and maintain a simple centuries-old, non-electric water pump to grow more vegetables? Two Johns Hopkins student teams are working hard to move these “green” ideas off the drawing board and into the real world. Both teams will showcase their progress at the 2013 National Sustainable Design Expo, scheduled April 18 and 19, in Washington, D.C. The event, which will be open to the public on the National Mall, is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

MEDIA ADVISORY: Student Teams to Compete for Johns Hopkins Business Plan Prize Money on April 12

Johns Hopkins Business Plan Competition presentations and judging will take place from 1:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 12. Twenty-four finalist teams will present their business plans to judges in three categories: medical technologies and life sciences, general business and social enterprise. Each team is composed of two to 10 undergraduates, graduate students or post-doctoral fellows who have devised a product or service they propose to sell. The finalist teams come from seven Johns Hopkins University divisions.

Low-Cost ‘Cooling Cure’ Could Avert Brain Damage in Oxygen-Starved Babies

When babies are deprived of oxygen before birth, brain damage and disorders such as cerebral palsy can occur. Extended cooling can prevent brain injuries, but this treatment is not always available in developing nations where advanced medical care is scarce. To address this need, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have devised a low-tech $40 unit to provide protective cooling in the absence of modern hospital equipment that can cost $12,000.

Computer Model May Help Athletes and Soldiers Avoid Brain Damage and Concussions

Concussions can occur in sports and in combat, but health experts do not know precisely which jolts, collisions and awkward head movements during these activities pose the greatest risks to the brain. To find out, Johns Hopkins engineers have developed a powerful new computer-based process that helps identify the dangerous conditions that lead to concussion-related brain injuries. This approach could lead to new medical treatment options and some sports rule changes to reduce brain trauma among players.

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