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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.