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Johns Hopkins University

Good Thinking

Fancy footwear lets amputees get their game on

When Gyorgy (George) Levay lost both hands to a meningitis infection five years ago, many people might have assumed that his gaming days were over. That's far from being the case, however. Working with two other Johns Hopkins University grad students, he's developed a prototype system that lets upper-body amputees control games using their feet. It recently won the grand prize in the 2016 Intell-Cornell Cup, a competition for students who are exploring applications of embedded technology.Read More

Science

Synthesizing human genome in lab could lead to "ultrasafe" cell line

Since the human genome was completely sequenced in 2003, the field of genetics has zipped along at a mind-boggling pace, helping us do everything from detecting cancer earlier to offering new hope to diabetics. Now we can even cut-and-paste sequences of DNA in our own kitchens. So the just-announced project to chemically produce an entire human genome in a lab seems like a logical next step – even if it could one day lead to lab-made humans with no biological parents.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Prosthesis allows amputees to walk in heels

We've seen some interesting prostheses over the years, from 3D-printed legs to devices for kids with superhero aesthetics. A project from researchers at the Johns Hopkins University is a little different, providing a prosthesis to help women with lower limb amputations to walk in high heels. It's an effort that could have a huge positive impact on peoples' lives, from female veterans to the fashion conscious.Read More

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

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