Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 29, 2022

Science & Technology




NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING, NIH / CC BY-NC 2.0
In Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, damaging protein clumps can cause chronic brain inflammation, muscle tremors, slowness of movement and many other severe symptoms.

Thinking small: a new approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases

Our brains are robust and highly efficient, tasked with managing our memories, emotions and identity. But what happens when this organ breaks down?  Xiaobo Mao’s team at the School of Medicine, which specializes in answering this question, published a paper in Nature Communications that details a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The team’s findings focus on using nanobodies to disarm harmful protein clumps. 


COURTESY OF MATHIEU ET AL/ CC BY 4.0
Over the course of the past summer, monkeypox cases globally have increased substantially. 

Hopkins hosts global monkeypox briefing

On Sept. 12, Dr. Matthew M. Hamill, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine and clinical chief for Sexually Transmitted Infections at Baltimore City Health Department, provided an update to the monkeypox outbreak on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health.


COURTESY OF JAY HUANG / CC BY 2.0
The Inflation Reduction Act promises more funding towards green energy. 

The Inflation Reduction Act and its investment for climate change action

The political side of climate change has been slightly quiet until recently. However while Trump was president, we did see movement — unfortunately in the backwards direction. In one of my previous articles, I wrote about how Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. This step was not exactly surprising, but it did remove the commitment of the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas production. 



ALAN CAMERER / CC0 Public Domain
Nearly four years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term effects of COVID-19 remain largely unknown.

The impacts of pediatric long COVID

There are still many unknowns surrounding long COVID — also called long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection, long-term effects of COVID, chronic COVID, post-COVID conditions (PCC) and post-COVID-19. 


COURTESY OF CHRIS DEVERS / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
College athletes may suffer from the pressure to both perform and balance their academic commitments.

A quiet crisis in college sports

Student-athletes across the nation are seeking more support for their mental health. In a recent NCAA survey, rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety and depression have remained 1.5 to two times higher than pre-pandemic rates. 


AHMAD ADLA / CC BY-SA 4.0
The fractal nature of the Mandelbrot set is frequently cited as one of the most wonderful mathematical objects. 

Finding wonder in religion and mathematics

When asked what my majors are, I often hear the same response: “Interesting.”  While I agree that Hebrew Bible and Mathematics are interesting, there are two very different connotations to that word: 1) “I’m genuinely interested in what you’re learning and would love to hear more about it,” and 2) “Why are you studying that? What do you hope to gain from it?”



COURTESY OF ELLIE ROSE MATTOON
Contrary to popular belief, STEM majors also enjoy reading at coffee shops. 

Four books that made me fall in love with science

There seems to be a stereotype going around that us STEM kids don’t know how to read. That we’re too engrossed with our mathematical proofs and cell cultures to be found between two pages of a book at Bird in Hand. From my interactions with several STEM majors, I would like to call cap on this idea. 


GAGE SKIDMORE /  CC BY-SA 2.0
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, established in 1986, awards up to $7500 to undergraduate students per year.

Three Hopkins students named 2022 Goldwater Scholars

Hopkins juniors Christopher Anchan, Sai Chandan Reddy and Sarah Syed were all awarded the 2022 Goldwater Scholarship on March 25. The scholarship is a partnership between the National Defense Education Programs and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. 



COURTESY OF JIWON LIM
While some Hopkins students are applying to schools abroad, others grew up abroad and are looking to apply to schools in the US. 

Project MD 2027: International applicants and international applications

Originally, I was hoping to write this piece about student experiences with the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). However, my plans pivoted when I got in touch with Belle Hartshorn, a senior Molecular and Cellular Biology major applying to medical school this summer. Hartshorn has never taken the MCAT, and she doesn’t plan to. 



COURTESY OF NASA, ESA, BRIAN WELCH, DAN COE

An annotated image of the Earendel star within the gravitationally lensed "sunrise arc" galaxy.

A light in dark places: Hopkins student discovers the most distant star

Astronomers are fascinated with the early universe, peering outwards in space and backward in time to the very beginnings of the cosmos. Technological advancements help further their research, including the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is specifically designed to see the earliest galaxies.





BEANTIN WEBBKOMMUNIKATION/CC BY-SA 2.0
Researchers at the International Vaccine Access Center developed VIRA, a chatbot designed to give personal, confidential answers to over 150 questions.

Vaccine chatbot answers public health questions

As the pandemic enters its third year, 23% of the U.S. population remains unvaccinated, many haven’t received a booster, and vaccine misinformation continues to spread. To address these issues, researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) developed the Vaccine Information Resource Assistant (VIRA): a chatbot designed to give personal, confidential answers to over 150 questions.


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