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.

 

Gambling Monkeys Help Scientists Find Brain Area Linked to High-Risk Behavior

Monkeys who learned how to gamble have helped researchers pinpoint an area of the brain key to one’s willingness to make risky decisions.

Smartphone ‘Scores’ Can Help Doctors Track Severity of Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Parkinson’s disease, a progressive brain disorder, is often tough to treat effectively because symptoms, such as tremors and walking difficulties, can vary dramatically over a period of days, or even hours. To address this challenge, Johns Hopkins University computer scientists, working with an interdisciplinary team of experts from two other institutions, have developed a new approach that uses sensors on a smartphone to generate a score that reliably reflects symptom severity in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Can a Cockroach Teach a Robot How to Scurry Across Rugged Terrain?

When they turn up in family pantries or restaurant kitchens, cockroaches are commonly despised as ugly, unhealthy pests and are quickly killed. But in the name of science, Johns Hopkins researchers have put these unwanted bugs to work.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Super Bowl Marks the Season’s End, But Concussion Concerns Continue

During this year’s Super Bowl, K.T. Ramesh, a biomechanics expert at Johns Hopkins University, will pay more attention to the collateral damage that can occur during football games: head injuries. He is developing a technological tool to help better diagnose concussions and predict where related brain damage has likely occurred.

Johns Hopkins Scientists Probe Mystery of Spider Web-Spinning

Johns Hopkins University biologist Andrew Gordus is conducting a leg-by-leg analysis of a spider building its web in hopes of unlocking secrets of behavior: how is it shaped by genetics, how is it a response to surroundings? Gordus says the project could eventually shed light on higher animals.

Johns Hopkins Scientists Explain Rudolph, Grinch, Scrooge

This festive season, Johns Hopkins University researchers dug deep into their reserves of scientific expertise to explain how these unexplainable plot lines in holiday classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Grinch That Stole Christmas, and A Christmas Carol just might be (almost) (possibly) possible.

New Computer Model Sheds Light on Biological Events Leading to Sudden Cardiac Death

Some heart disease patients face a higher risk of sudden cardiac death, which can happen when an arrhythmia—an irregular heartbeat—disrupts the normal electrical activity in the heart and causes the organ to stop pumping. However, arrhythmias linked to sudden cardiac death are very rare, making it difficult to study how they occur—and how they might be prevented. To make it much easier to discover what triggers this deadly disorder, a team led by Johns Hopkins researchers constructed a powerful new computer model that replicates the biological activity within the heart that precedes sudden cardiac death.

Johns Hopkins Biologist Leads Team That Unlocks Mystery of Protein Function

A scientific team led by a Johns Hopkins University biologist has cracked a key part of the mystery surrounding proteins that emerged as a distinct type less than 30 years ago, a breakthrough that could eventually lead to treatments for diseases that range from cancer to neurological disorders.

JHU Scientist Crowdsources Rocks Harboring Earthly “Extraterrestrials”

Crowdsourcing has been used to create an online photography archive, finance a British rock band’s tour and search for intelligent life on other planets. Now, Johns Hopkins University biologist Jocelyne DiRuggiero is hoping the approach can help her find rocks.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Don’t Let These Creepy Skeletons Get Under Your Skin

On Halloween night, from their haunted hiding places beneath Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus, scary skeletons will come to life in the dark depths of Hackerman Hall—and begin to dance!

Johns Hopkins Finds Training Exercise That Boosts Brain Power

One of the two brain-training methods most scientists use in research is significantly better in improving memory and attention, Johns Hopkins University researchers found. It also results in more significant changes in brain activity.

Johns Hopkins Scientists Help Show Links Between Genes, Body Tissues

Johns Hopkins University scientists are part of a research team assessing how a person’s genetic profile affects his body. The results could help show how individual genetic differences contribute to disease and guide treatments for heritable disorders such as Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol or Type I diabetes.

DNA Triggers Shape-Shifting in Hydrogels, Opening a New Way to Make ‘Soft Robots’

Biochemical engineers at Johns Hopkins University have used sequences of DNA molecules to induce shape-changing in water-based gels, demonstrating a new tactic to produce soft robots and “smart” medical devices that do not rely on cumbersome wires, batteries or tethers.

Mapping the Brain, Neuron by Neuron

Johns Hopkins University experts are part of an international team of scientists that has taken another step toward mapping how brains work.

Method Determines Cell Age More Accurately, Could Help Elderly Patients

Led by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, a team of researchers is reporting progress in developing a method to accurately determine the functional age of cells, a step that could eventually help clinicians evaluate and recommend ways to delay some health effects of aging and potentially improve other treatments, including skin graft matching and predicting prospects for wound healing.

New Cellular Target May Put the Brakes on Cancer’s Ability to Spread

A team led by Johns Hopkins researchers has discovered a biochemical signaling process that causes densely packed cancer cells to break away from a tumor and spread the disease elsewhere in the body.

Media Advisory: Astronaut Kate Rubins to Speak at Johns Hopkins University

Kate Rubins, the first person to sequence DNA in space aboard the International Space Station last year, will talk about her work as a scientist and astronaut.

Nine Johns Hopkins Engineers Named AIMBE Fellows

Nine faculty members from The Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering have been named Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

New Gene Sequencing Software Could Aid in Early Detection, Treatment of Cancer

A research team from the United States and Canada has developed and successfully tested new computational software that determines whether a human DNA sample includes an epigenetic add-on linked to cancer and other adverse health conditions.

Wanted: Self-Driving Cells to Pursue Deadly Bacteria

Drawing on their expertise in control systems and cell biology, Johns Hopkins University researchers are setting out to design and test troops of self-directed microscopic warriors that can locate and neutralize dangerous strains of bacteria.

Study Identifies Molecular Signal for Maintaining Adult Neuron

Research led by a Johns Hopkins University biologist sheds light on the subject, potentially pointing the way to a better understanding of how the structure of nerve cells in the adult hippocampus may deteriorate, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.

Intersession Students Learn the Science Behind Party Food

Beer, wine and cheese are classic party foods that couldn’t be made without fermentation. Fermentation is also the key behind food trends like pickling and the tea drink kombucha. In a one-credit intersession course, Johns Hopkins University undergraduates will learn the chemistry behind this biological process, science that will help them understand when they should send back a bottle of wine, what sets a stout apart from a lager, and why some cheeses ooze while others crumble.

Captured on Video: DNA Nanotubes Build a Bridge Between Two Molecular Posts

In a microscopic feat that resembled a high-wire circus act, Johns Hopkins researchers have coaxed DNA nanotubes to assemble themselves into bridge-like structures arched between two molecular landmarks on the surface of a lab dish. The team captured examples of this unusual nanoscale performance on video.

Research Shows Nerve Growth Protein Controls Blood Sugar

Research led by a Johns Hopkins University biologist demonstrates the workings of a biochemical pathway that helps control glucose in the bloodstream, a development that could potentially lead to treatments for diabetes.

When Fish Come to School, Kids Get Hooked on Science

A program that brings live fish into classrooms to teach the fundamentals of biology not only helps students learn, but improves their attitudes about science, a new study finds.