Current News Releases
Study helps explain why “survival gap” persists for African-Americans
A team of scientists at Johns Hopkins and in Texas has identified a handful of genetic mutations in black Americans, in addition to some chemical alterations affecting gene activity, which may help explain why the death rate among African-Americans from the most common form of head and neck cancer continues to hover some 18 percent higher above the death rate of whites with the same cancer.
Using a powerful gene-hunting technique for the first time in mammalian brain cells, researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have identified a gene involved in building the circuitry that relays signals through the brain. The gene is a likely player in the aging process in the brain, the researchers say. Additionally, in demonstrating the usefulness of the new method, the discovery paves the way for faster progress toward identifying genes involved in complex mental illnesses such as autism and schizophrenia — as well as potential drugs for such conditions.
Findings could reshape research on cancer origins and treatment of other autoimmune diseases
Johns Hopkins scientists have found evidence that cancer triggers the autoimmune disease scleroderma, which causes thickening and hardening of the skin and widespread organ damage.
New insights may explain difficulty of finding drugs for infectious disease
For what is believed to be the first time, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have illuminated the inner workings of an important class of enzymes located inside the outer envelopes of cells. Much to their surprise, they report, these protein cutters, called rhomboid proteases, are entirely different than nearly every other type of enzyme studied, showing no attraction to the proteins they cut and being extremely slow in making their cuts.
Patients fare equally well at half the cost, study shows
Adding to evidence that "high-volume" specialty care in busy teaching hospitals leads to efficiencies unavailable in community hospitals, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers finds that patients undergoing repair of traumatic eye socket injuries at its busy academic medical center fared just as well at far less cost than those treated at all other Maryland hospitals.
Protein could prove a promising new drug target
Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combatting HIV. The scientists report in a paper appearing online Dec. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that the protein, Sprouty-2, is a promising target for future HIV drug development, since disabling it could help restore the cells’ ability to combat the virus that causes AIDS.
Findings advance opportunities for a “pacemaker in a bottle”
Johns Hopkins heart researchers are unraveling the mystery of how a modified pacemaker used to treat many patients with heart failure, known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), is able to strengthen the heart muscle while making it beat in a coordinated fashion. In a new study conducted on animal heart cells described in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the scientists show that CRT changes these cells so they can contract more forcefully. The researchers also identified an enzyme that mimics this effect of CRT without use of the device.
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund will hold its sixth annual Maryland Stem Cell Research Symposium on the Johns Hopkins medical campus on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has announced that the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s L. Mario Amzel, Ph.D., of the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry; Philip Cole, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences; Valina Dawson, Ph.D., of the Department of Neurology; and the Johns Hopkins University’s Stephen Murray, Ph.D., of the Department of Physics and Astronomy are among 388 new fellows from around the world. AAAS fellows are elected by their peers and honored for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
Prenatal exposure to high-fat diets mitigated in offspring
Rats whose mothers were fed a high-fat diet during pregnancy and nursing were able to stave off some of the detrimental health effects of obesity by exercising during their adolescence, new Johns Hopkins research shows.
Johns Hopkins research helps overturn government ban on transplanting HIV-infected organs
A bill scheduled to be signed into law today by President Obama paves the way to reverse the longtime ban on letting HIV-infected people donate their organs for transplantation after death, a move that offers hope to thousands of HIV patients on transplant waiting lists.
Using a new method to catch elusive “jumping genes” in the act, researchers have found two human proteins that are used by one type of DNA to replicate itself and move from place to place. The discovery, described in the Nov. 21 issue of Cell, breaks new ground, they say, in understanding the arms race between a jumping gene driven to colonize new areas of the human genome and cells working to limit the risk posed by such volatile bits of DNA.
Johns Hopkins-led study suggests physicians check for heart rhythm disturbance in those with orthostatic hypotension
Results of a Johns Hopkins-led study have identified a possible link between a history of sudden drops in blood pressure and the most common form of irregular heartbeat.
Study Data from 16 hospitals in eight countries are published in the European Heart Journal
An ultrafast, 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner that shows both anatomy within coronary arteries and blood flowcan accurately sort out which people need – or don’t need – an invasive procedure to identify coronary blockages, according to an international study. The researchers say their findings could potentially save millions of people worldwide from having an unnecessary cardiac catheterization.
Findings follow previous study showing that commonly used equation underestimates heart disease danger for many at high risk
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a more accurate way to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called “bad” form of blood fat that can lead to hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. If confirmed and adopted by medical laboratories that routinely calculate blood cholesterol for patients, the researchers say their formula would give patients and their doctors a much more accurate assessment of LDL cholesterol.
Results of a Johns Hopkins study may explain why a chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide prevents graft-versus-host (GVHD) disease in people who receive bone marrow transplants. The experiments point to an immune system cell that evades the toxic effects of cyclophosphamide and protects patients from a lethal form of GVHD.
Findings call for a rethinking of cancer genetics
Johns Hopkins researchers report that the deletion of any single gene in yeast cells puts pressure on the organism’s genome to compensate, leading to a mutation in another gene. Their discovery, which is likely applicable to human genetics because of the way DNA is conserved across species, could have significant consequences for the way genetic analysis is done in cancer and other areas of research, they say.
Prompt treatment can lower risk of permanent vision loss
A type of high-power blue laser toy readily available over the Internet and increasingly popular among male teens and young adults can cause serious, sometimes irreversible, eye damage, according to a report by investigators from Saudi Arabia’s King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital (KKESH) and Johns Hopkins Medicine. The two institutions have collaborated on clinical care, medical education and research since 2010.
A Johns Hopkins undergraduate biomedical engineering student team that devised a two-part system to improve the way life-saving shocks are delivered to hearts earned first-prize in the undergraduate division of a national Collegiate Inventors Competition. In the graduate-level competition, Isaac Kinde, a Johns Hopkins medical student, received third-place honors for developing a test to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers as part of a team at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
A new study highlights the importance of exercise and physical fitness among people with stable coronary artery disease. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Henry Ford Hospital found that higher levels of physical fitness lower the risk of having heart attacks and increase survival in those with coronary artery disease, whether or not they have had a procedure to open up their blocked arteries.