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Johns Hopkins University

Medical

The best recipe for 3D-printed replacement bones

Facial and head surgery can require sections of bone to be removed, and doctors often have to harvest material from elsewhere in the body to fill in the gaps. That's not always an ideal situation, and can lead to complications. New research coming out of the Johns Hopkins University could provide an alternative, creating custom-made, 3D-printed implants from a mixture of plastic and bone powder.Read More

Medical

Robot betters expert surgeons at soft tissue stitching

In the 2012 film Prometheus, archaeologist Elizabeth Shaw seals herself in a medical pod and undergoes a robotic surgical procedure to remove an alien growing in her abdomen. While people not involved in a sci-fi universe shouldn't ever need such a procedure, robotic surgery certainly has its benefits. Working with the body's soft tissue has proved difficult, however, because of how much it can squish and change during surgery. A new machine called the Smart Tissue Automation Robot (STAR) at Johns Hopkins University has overcome this obstacle and proven its ability by operating on pigs.Read More

Medical

Scientists stumble on nerve cell that tells mice when to stop eating

Obesity is a big health problem, affecting more than one third – or 78.6 million – adults in the United States, and costing more than US$140 billion dollars to treat every year. A new breakthrough in our understanding of how the brain tells the us that we're full could one day lead to all new tools for tackling the widespread condition. The researchers made the discovery by chance while studying learning and memory systems, instead identifying a new nerve type responsible for controlling appetite in mice.
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Science

Mind-controlled prosthetic allows movement of individual fingers

Using the mind to control prosthetic limbs is a bold idea that is slowly becoming a reality, thanks to several important advances in neuroscience and robotics in the last couple of years. Now a team of researchers is claiming another significant breakthrough in this area, building a prosthetic arm whose individual fingers can be controlled via the mind, right down to the pinkie. Read More

Science

Could lab-grown mini-brains replace animal testing?

If you keep even a casual eye on the world of medical research, then you'll known that animal testing is a ubiquitous part of the process. New drugs are routinely tried out on laboratory animals, usually rodents, before clinical trials are considered. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a possible alternative, creating "mini-brains" made up of a similar mix of cells and neurons found in the human brain.Read More

Medical

Hydrogel boosts uptake of stem cells in repairing damaged hearts

With their ability to help repair damaged muscle, stem cells have shown promise as tools for rebuilding the body's organs, but their potential is yet to be fully realized – especially when it comes to the heart. Part of this is because only a small percentage of stem cells injected actually survive the process, but a newly developed liquid could make life a little easier for freshly transplanted cells. Researchers have found that encapsulating them in a sticky hydrogel gives them the ability to not only survive, but multiply and improve the injured heart's ability to pump blood. Read More

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