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Latest Advancements in Research

Researchers at Johns Hopkins are constantly advancing science through basic, translational and clinical investigations. Here are highlights of our most current findings.

Sensory Areas of the Brain Can Multitask

a hand gripping a round object

Areas of the brain once thought to merely capture information from the senses are also capable of Stem Cell Telomeres "higher order" functions, like timing actions to maximize rewards and integrating information about the feel of an object and the position of the subject's hand, according to two new studies.

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New Genetic Clues about Hirschsprung's Disease

an abdominal x-ray

Genetic studies have revealed how two different types of genetic variations team up to cause a rare condition called Hirschsprung’s disease. The findings add to an increasingly clear picture of how flaws in early nerve development lead to poor colon function, which must often be surgically corrected. 

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Short Telomeres Linked to Lung Disease


Lung diseases like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis are common among people with malfunctioning telomeres, the “caps” on the ends of chromosomes. Now, researchers have discovered what goes wrong for these patients and why.

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Using Sugar to Detect Cancer Without a Biopsy

Normal cells (left) have far more sugar attached to mucin proteins than do cancerous cells (right). Mucin-attached sugar generates a high MRI signal, shown in red. Credit: Xiaolei Song/Johns Hopkins Medicine

Not all tumors are cancerous. Imaging tests like mammograms can find tumors, but biopsies are usually needed to diagnose cancer. A new study suggests MRIs could one day do both jobs by detecting the absence of certain sugar molecules on the outer membranes of cancerous cells.

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New Autism-Causing Variant Identified

profile of a head with the autism awareness ribbon

Using a novel approach that homes in on rare families severely affected by autism, a team of researchers has identified a new genetic cause of the disease. The rare genetic variant may offer important insights into the root causes of autism.

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