About Johns Hopkins

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.

 

Researchers Find Brain’s ‘Physics Engine’

Whether or not they aced it in high school, human beings are physics masters when it comes to understanding and predicting how objects in the world will behave. A Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientist has found the source of that intuition, the brain’s “physics engine.”

Research Reveals Cancer Pathway to Spreading Through the Body

Cancer cells need oxygen to survive, as do most other life forms, but scientists had never tracked their search for oxygen in their early growth stages until now — a step toward deeper understanding of one way cancer spreads that could help treat the disease.

The Brain’s Super-Sensitivity to Curbs

Humans rely on boundaries like walls and curbs for navigation, and Johns Hopkins University researchers have pinpointed the areas of the brain most sensitive to even the tiniest borders.

Protein Found to Bolster Growth of Damaged Muscle Tissue

Johns Hopkins University biologists have found that a protein that plays a key role in the lives of stem cells can bolster the growth of damaged muscle tissue, a step that could potentially contribute to treatments for muscle degeneration caused by old age and diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

What Free Will Looks Like in the Brain

Johns Hopkins University researchers are the first to glimpse the human brain making a purely voluntary decision to act.

How a Woman With Amnesia Defies Conventional Wisdom About Memory

Johns Hopkins University cognitive scientists say the sharp contrasts in the memory profile of a patient with severe amnesia — her inability to remember facts about pursuits once vital to her life as an artist, musician and amateur aviator, while clearly remembering facts relevant to performing in these domains — suggest conventional wisdom about how the brain stores knowledge is incorrect.

Researchers Find What Could Be Brain’s Trigger for Binge Behavior

Rats that responded to cues for sugar with the speed and excitement of binge-eaters were less motivated for the treat when certain neurons were suppressed, researchers discovered.

Johns Hopkins Faculty Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Four Johns Hopkins University faculty members are among the new scholars elected to the National Academy of Sciences today in recognition of their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

Scientists Find Brain Cells That Know Which End Is Up

People are intuitive physicists — knowing from birth how objects under the influence of gravity are likely to fall, topple or roll. In a new study, scientists have found the brain cells apparently responsible for this innate wisdom.

Scientists Find Mastering the Art of Ignoring Makes People More Efficient

People searching for something can find it faster if they know what to look for. But new research suggests knowing what not to look for can be just as helpful.

What Bats Reveal About How Humans Focus Attention

You’re at a crowded party, noisy with multiple conversations, music and clinking glasses. But when someone behind you says your name, you hear it and quickly turn in that direction. The same sort of thing happens with bats and Johns Hopkins University researchers have discovered how a bat’s brain determines what’s worth paying attention to. The findings, which have implications across animal systems, were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Johns Hopkins Biologist Scott Bailey Receives $250,000 President’s Frontier Award

A public health biologist who is trying to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pave the way to new treatments for genetic diseases has received the 2016 President’s Frontier Award, a Johns Hopkins University honor that provides $250,000 in research funding. The program was launched last year as part of an expanded university effort to provide more funding to help its faculty move forward with innovative research projects. This year’s recipient is Scott Bailey, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, within the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

What Goes Wrong in the Brain When Someone Can’t Spell

By studying stroke victims who have lost the ability to spell, researchers have pinpointed the parts of the brain that control how we write words.

Research Traces Cause of Organ Dysfunction in Down Syndrome

While most Down syndrome research has focused on the brain, a new report by Johns Hopkins University biologists uncovers how the disorder hampers the rest of the nervous system that plays a key role in health and longevity.

Johns Hopkins Solves a Longtime Puzzle of How We Learn

More than a century ago Pavlov figured out that dogs fed after hearing a bell eventually began to salivate when they heard the ring. A Johns Hopkins University-led research team has now figured out a key aspect of why.

Johns Hopkins Biologist Leads Research Shedding Light On Stem Cells

A Johns Hopkins University biologist has led a research team reporting progress in understanding the mysterious shape-shifting ways of stem cells, which have vast potential for medical research and disease treatment.

How the Brain Can Stop Action on a Dime

You’re about to drive through an intersection when the light suddenly turns red. But you’re able to slam on the brakes, just in time.

Johns Hopkins University researchers, working with scientists at the National Institute on Aging, have revealed the precise nerve cells that allow the brain to make this type of split-second change of course. In the latest issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience, the team shows that these feats of self control happen when neurons in the basal forebrain are silenced.

Drug for Early Alzheimer’s Heads to Clinical Trial

Johns Hopkins University researchers have received an estimated $7.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to clinically test what would be the first treatment to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Scientists report earlier shift in human ancestor diet

Millions of years ago our primate ancestors turned from trees and shrubs in search of food on the ground. In human evolution, that has made all the difference. The change marked a significant step toward the diverse eating habits that became a key human characteristic, and would have made these early humans more mobile and adaptable to their environment.

Hopkins scientists’ findings could shed light on cancer, aging

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found molecular evidence of how a biochemical process controls the lengths of protective chromosome tips, a potentially significant step in ultimately understanding cancer growth and aging.

Don’t I Know That Guy?

You see a man at the grocery store. Is that the fellow you went to college with or just a guy who looks like him?

One tiny spot in the brain has the answer.

Johns Hopkins University neuroscientists have identified the part of the hippocampus that creates and processes this type of memory, furthering our understanding of how the mind works, and what’s going wrong when it doesn’t. Their findings are published in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

The Amazing Adaptability of the Brain’s Vision Center

By early childhood, the sight regions of a blind person’s brain respond to sound, especially spoken language, a Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist has found.

Johns Hopkins University Chemist’s Project Lands Major Federal Grant

A Johns Hopkins University chemist is leading research groups from five schools that won a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for materials science work that could lead to advancements in electronics, computers, optics and weapons technology.

New Computing Center in Baltimore Will Offer Bigger Home for ‘Big Data’ Projects

Whether they’re studying distant galaxies or deadly diseases deep within human cells, Big Data researchers increasingly need more powerful computers and more digital storage space. To address this demand, two Maryland universities are preparing to open one of the nation’s largest academic high-performance computing centers, located at the edge of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus in Baltimore.

When the Color We See Isn’t the Color We Remember

Though people can distinguish between millions of colors, we have trouble remembering specific shades because our brains tend to store what we’ve seen as one of just a few basic hues, a Johns Hopkins University-led team discovered.