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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.


Cells Can 'Count' Rhythmic Signals to Alter Their Fate

Cell rhythmic waves

Biologists have discovered that when biological signals hit cells in rhythmic waves, the magnitude of the cells' response can depend on the number of signaling cycles — not their strength or duration. The findings in single-celled organisms may help explain patterns in developing embryos and how snails learn.

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Potential for Magnetic Fields to Diagnose and Treat Dizziness

Zebrafish

Expanding on earlier research, Johns Hopkins researchers report that people — and zebrafish — with balance disorders or dizziness traceable to an inner-ear disturbance show distinctive abnormal eye movements when the affected ear is exposed to the strong pull of an MRI’s magnetic field.

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New Tool Pinpoints Genetic Sources of Disease

graphic of two strands of DNA

Scientists have shown a connection between the “map” of genes in the genome and the “map” of reversible chemical changes to DNA, the epigenome.  Their finding could help disease trackers find patterns in those overlays that could offer clues to the causes of and possible treatments for complex genetic conditions.

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Protein 'Rescues' Stuck Cellular Factories

Ribosome model

Using a powerful data-crunching technique, Johns Hopkins researchers have sorted out how a protein keeps defective genetic material from gumming up the cellular works. The protein, Dom34, appears to “rescue” protein-making factories called ribosomes when they get stuck obeying defective genetic instructions.

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Gene Identified That Helps Fruit Flies Go to Sleep

Napping couple

In experiments sparked by fruit flies that couldn’t sleep, researchers say they have identified a mutant gene — dubbed “Wide Awake” — that sabotages how the biological clock sets the timing for sleep. The finding also led them to the protein that promotes sleep early in the night and properly regulates sleep cycles.

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