Johns Hopkins computers scientists, who have already used Twitter posts to track flu cases, say their techniques also show promise as a tool to gather important information about some common mental illnesses. By reviewing tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis and by looking for language cues linked to certain disorders, the researchers say, they’ve been able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.
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.
Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers have developed a free, browser-based online tool that could speed up the creation of new drugs to treat or prevent Ebola virus infections. The software, called MuPIT Ebola Edition, enables a researcher to visualize Ebola gene mutations in the context of three-dimensional protein structures. It also offers views of antibody binding sites called epitopes that are situated on protein surfaces. These sites may give researchers new targets for preventive vaccines and serums to treat those who are already infected.
The following Johns Hopkins University faculty members are available for perspective on the Ebola crisis.
Offering Economic Incentives to Attract Blood Donations Should Be Encouraged, Researchers Write in Science
Three researchers including Carey Business School Assistant Professor Mario Macis say economic incentives can motivate members of the public to increase their donations of much-needed blood, the economists write in the May 24, 2013, issue of Science.
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.
The debate over American health care didn’t end with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now that the law is in place and its provisions are slowly becoming reality, the discussion has shifted to questions regarding whether the benefits are worth the costs, and whether we will actually be a healthier nation once every citizen has health insurance. Johns Hopkins University health economist Douglas E. Hough hopes his new book, which looks at the state of American health care through the lens of behavioral economics, will be helpful in framing this new wave of discourse in a more productive way.
The Johns Hopkins University and Waverly Elementary/Middle School have partnered to teach young students about the benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise through a program called Food as Medicine. A special program event, the Safari of Health Fair, will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 26 at the school on 701 E. 34th St. Baltimore, MD 21218.
Sifting through social media messages has become a popular way to track when and where flu cases occur, but a key hurdle hampers the process: how to identify flu-infection tweets. Some tweets are posted by people who have been sick with the virus, while others come from folks who are merely talking about the illness. If you are tracking actual flu cases, such conversations about the flu in general can skew the results. To address this problem, Johns Hopkins computer scientists and researchers in the School of Medicine have developed a new tweet-screening method that not only delivers real-time data on flu cases, but also filters out online chatter that is not linked to actual flu infections.
After a surgeon stitches up a patient’s abdomen, costly complications—some life-threatening—can occur. To cut down on these postoperative problems, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have invented a disposable suturing tool to guide the placement of stitches and guard against the accidental puncture of internal organs.
Could a low-cost screening device connected to a cellphone save thousands of women and children from anemia-related deaths and disabilities? That’s the goal of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineering undergraduates who say they’ve developed a noninvasive way to identify women with this dangerous blood disorder in developing nations.
On Wednesday, May 23, the university’s Whiting School of Engineering will break ground for Malone Hall, a state-of-the-art, 69,000-square-foot research center named in honor of John C. Malone, a pioneer in the communications and media industries.
Amid growing concerns about the spread of harmful mercury in plants and animals, a new study by researchers from The Johns Hopkins University and The National Aquarium has compared levels of the chemical in captive dolphins with dolphins found in the wild. The captive animals were fed a controlled diet, while the wild mammals dined on marine life that may carry more of the toxic metal.