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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.

 

JHU Leads Nation in R&D for 34th Straight Year

The Johns Hopkins University led U.S. universities in research spending for the 34th straight year in fiscal 2012, performing $2.106 billion in medical, science and engineering R&D, the National Science Foundation says.

JHU Astronomer Awarded $9.5 Million to Create “Virtual Telescope” to Observe Scientific Data

A team of scientists at The Johns Hopkins University has received a grant for $9.5 million over five years to develop, build and maintain large-scale data sets that will allow for greater access and better usability of the information for the science community.

Engineering Researcher Thao ‘Vicky’ Nguyen Receives NSF CAREER Award

A Johns Hopkins faculty member who is studying how mechanical forces affect soft tissue within the eye has been named a 2013 recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. The award to Thao “Vicky” Nguyen, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will support research that may shed light on diseases and conditions such as tendon injuries, cardiac fibrosis and glaucoma.

Johns Hopkins First in R&D Expenditures for 33rd Year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $2.1 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2011, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 33rd year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.88 billion in FY2011 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Johns Hopkins Receives $7.4 Million Grant to Boost STEM Education in Baltimore City

Supported by a five-year $7.4 million National Science Foundation grant, experts at The Johns Hopkins University are partnering with teachers and administrators in Baltimore City Public Schools on a program to enhance teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math in city elementary schools by making STEM a community affair. The program, called STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools – SABES for short — not only will benefit more than 1,600 students in grades three through five in nine city elementary schools, but could also become a national model for science, technology, engineering and math education.

Johns Hopkins Biologist Joel Schildbach Selected as PULSE Leadership Fellow

A Johns Hopkins biologist has been selected by the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences (PULSE) as one its new Vision and Change Leadership Fellows, a group charged with spending a year identifying and recommending ways to improve undergraduate life sciences education. Joel Schildbach, a biology professor and director of undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, is one of 40 faculty members selected from 250 applicants from 24 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands by PULSE, a joint initiative of the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

Citizen Science: Johns Hopkins Study Allows Thousands to Test Gut Sense for Numbers

A first-of-its kind study using the World Wide Web to collect data from more than 10,000 study subjects ages 11 to 85 found that humans’ inborn “number sense” improves during school years, declines during old age, and remains linked throughout the entire lifespan to academic mathematics achievement. The study, led by psychologist Justin Halberda of The Johns Hopkins University and published in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of June 25, is groundbreaking for presenting a picture of how our basic cognitive abilities may change across our lifetime.

Johns Hopkins First in R&D Expenditures for 32nd Year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $2 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2010, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 32nd year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.73 billion in FY2010 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

JHU Scientist Wins NSF Int’l Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the case of an image created by astrophysicist Miguel Angel Aragon of The Johns Hopkins University, the adage holds true. His vibrant computer illustration, which won the National Science Foundation’s 2011 Science and Engineering’s Visualization Challenge in the “Informational Posters and Graphics” category, brings to vivid life many dynamic aspects of the universe, spanning 240 million light years.

NSF $1.2 Million Grant to Fund Massive Data “Pipeline” at Johns Hopkins

Financed by a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant, one of the world’s fastest and most advanced scientific computer networks—one capable of transferring in and out of The Johns Hopkins University per day the amount of data equivalent to 80 million file cabinets filled with text—will be built on the university’s Homewood campus, with support from the University of Maryland, College Park.

It Takes Two: Brains Come Wired for Cooperation, JHU Neuroscientist Asserts

When legal commentator Nancy Grace and her partner danced a lively rumba to Spandau Ballet’s 1980’s hit, “True,” on a recent “Dancing With the Stars,” more was going on in the legal commentator’s brain than concern over a possible wardrobe malfunction. Deep in Grace’s cortex, millions of neurons were hard at work doing what they apparently had been built to do: act and react to partner Tristan MacManus’s movements to create a pas de deux that had the dancers functioning together (for the most part) like a well-oiled machine. That is because the brain was built for cooperative activity, whether it be dancing on a reality television show, constructing a skyscraper or working in an office, according to a study led by Johns Hopkins behavioral neuroscientist Eric Fortune and published in the November 4 issue of the journal Science.

JHU Expert Finds Randomness in Turbulent Flows

It seems perfectly natural to expect that two motorists who depart from the same location and follow the same directions will end up at the same destination. But according to a Johns Hopkins University mathematical physicist, this is not true when the “directions” are provided by a turbulent fluid flow, such as you find in a churning river or stream. Verifying earlier theoretical predictions, Gregory Eyink’s computer experiments reveal that, in principle, two identical small beads dropped into the same turbulent flow at precisely the same starting location will end up in different – and entirely random – destinations. An article about the phenomenon appears in a recent issue of Physical Review E.

Artificial Grammar Reveals Inborn Language Sense, JHU Study Shows

Parents know the unparalleled joy and wonder of hearing a beloved child’s first words turn quickly into whole sentences and then babbling paragraphs. But how human children acquire language-which is so complex and has so many variations-remains largely a mystery. Fifty years ago, linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky proposed an answer: Humans are able to learn language so quickly because some knowledge of grammar is hardwired into our brains. In other words, we know some of the most fundamental things about human language unconsciously at birth, without ever being taught. Now, in a groundbreaking study, cognitive scientists at The Johns Hopkins University have confirmed a striking prediction of the controversial hypothesis that human beings are born with knowledge of certain syntactical rules that make learning human languages easier.

Johns Hopkins garners more than $260 million in stimulus grants

Before the program ended on September 30, Johns Hopkins received $260 million in National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation research grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the federal stimulus act or ARRA.

New JHU Computer To Enable Data Analysis Not Possible Today

Imagine a tool that is a cross between a powerful electron microscope and the Hubble Space Telescope, allowing scientists from disciplines ranging from medicine and genetics to astrophysics, environmental science, oceanography and bioinformatics to examine and analyze enormous amounts of data from both “little picture” and “big picture” perspectives.Using a $2.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a group led by computer scientist and astrophysicist Alexander Szalay of Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Science is designing and developing such a tool, dubbed the Data-Scope.

Johns Hopkins first in R&D expenditures for 31st year

The Johns Hopkins University performed $1.85 billion in medical, science and engineering research in fiscal 2009, making it the leading U.S. academic institution in total research and development spending for the 31st year in a row, according to a new National Science Foundation ranking. The university also once again ranked first on the NSF’s separate list of federally funded research and development, spending $1.58 billion in FY2009 on research supported by NSF, NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Johns Hopkins Hits $200 Million Mark in Recovery Act Grants

The Johns Hopkins University has to date been awarded more than $200 million in National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation research grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the federal stimulus package. The 424 grants are financing investigations ranging from how the universe began to how men and women differ in their responses to the influenza virus to new strategies to prevent muscle loss caused by diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The grants also have underwritten the creation of 164 staff jobs, 32 of which are still open.

Some Like It Hot: Site of Human Evolution Was Scorching

If you think summer in your hometown is hot, consider it fortunate that you don’t live in the Turkana Basin of Kenya, where the average daily temperature has reached the mid-90s or higher, year-round, for the past 4 million years. The need to stay cool in that cradle of human evolution may relate, at least in part, to why pre-humans learned to walk upright, lost the fur that covered the bodies of their predecessors and became able to sweat more, Johns Hopkins University earth scientist Benjamin Passey said.

JHU Astrophysicist and Team Win $5 Million Stimulus Grant to Build Telescope

A team led by Johns Hopkins astrophysicist Charles L. Bennett has won a $5 million National Science Foundation grant – administered through the stimulus act – to build an instrument designed to probe what happened during the universe’s first trillionth of a second, when it suddenly grew from submicroscopic to astronomical size in far less than time than it takes to blink your eye.

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