Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 8, 2023

Science & Technology



L. HUSTAK, J. OLMSTED (STSCI) / CC-BY-2.0
The APL team’s recent findings bring researchers closer to determining the existence of extraterrestrial life.

APL team uses James Webb Space Telescope to detect Earth-like planet

Just more than a year after its launch, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has confirmed the existence of its first exoplanet, discovered by a team of astronomers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The Earth-sized planet, LHS 475 b, orbits a red dwarf star approximately 41 light years from Earth in the constellation Octans.


BRIAN GRATWICKE / CC BY 2.0
In the news this week, scientists from the University of Cincinnati recently discovered a species of “spiny-throated” reed frog that only communicates using touch. 

Science news in review: Feb. 5

While the weather outside is frightful, the warmth of scientific discovery is delightful. This past week has seen various new developments, from novel vaccine technologies to the effect of language learning in polyglots. Take a look at these fascinating discoveries as you read our first print issue of the semester.


PIETRO IZZO /  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
An outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is behind the spike in egg prices.

Science news in review: Jan. 29

Welcome back from winter break! Even though the weather might be cold outside, the science world is still hot with new stories! This week, we have details about the virus causing the spike in egg prices, a change in the Doomsday Clock and the possibility of science slowing down.


COURTESY OF NATTU / CC BY 2.0
As sea levels rise, island nations are especially at risk.

On the rise: The impact of climate change on sea levels

What would you do if the island you were living on was sinking? While this is definitely not an easy question to answer, it is a question that those who are living on many small, tropic islands are facing. Inundation is a threat that many islands are now facing due to climate change and rising sea levels. 


STEVEN SIMPSON / PHOTO EDITOR
Brody Learning Commons is open 24 hours during reading period. 

The science of studying for finals

It’s almost time for finals here at Hopkins! For many students, that means a lot of late-night study sessions at the library pumped with caffeine. In this stressful time, it’s important to understand how students study most effectively to achieve the best results.


COURTESY OF NASA, ESA, CSA AND STScI
Scientists used recent data from the James Webb Space Telescope to investigate the origins of the Southern Ring Nebula, determining that two companion stars led to an early stellar death.

Science news in review: Dec. 12

As we head into finals season, read our last science news review piece of the semester to learn the biggest science headlines from this past week! This week sees records being broken, new studies on star deaths and innovative food technologies. 


TRAVIS S. / CC BY-NC 2.0
The U.S. government has distributed $115 million to tribal nations across the Pacific Northwest to prepare for the growing threat of climate change. Read more about this and other science news in our weekly recap. 

Science news in review: Dec. 8

As we approach the end of the semester, take a moment to read the latest news in science! News from this past week includes building a new U.S. tribal climate policy, an aquatic dinosaur and the use of technology in both military and police settings.


RICCARDO MARIA MANTERO /  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Climate change has the potential to affect how different areas of the world look. 

On being an imperfect environmentalist

Only a couple of weeks ago, the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP27, convened to discuss major issues around climate change. While these big conversations are great, it is important that smaller conversations on a community or individual scale happen as well. Starting to discuss climate change is undoubtedly difficult. 


COURTESY OF MOLLY GAHAGEN
Students can drop in at the office of the SDS in Shaffer Hall to meet with SDS coordinators. 

"What now?": Long COVID as a potential disability and its effects on workers

Throughout the semester, my conversations with Hopkins medical professionals about the cognitive, emotional and physical impacts of long COVID often left me wondering about the future. What type of support beyond medical treatment exists for individuals whose daily lives continue to be disrupted by long COVID? How are these individuals maintaining employment or keeping up with the demands of school?


COURTESY OF MARGOT WOHL 
Wohl performs research on mosquito-borne diseases. 

Hopkins post-doc receives L'Oreal Fellowship

Margot Wohl, a postdoctoral fellow at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, was recently laureated by L’Oréal’s 2022 For Women in Science (FWIS) Fellowship as one of this year’s fellows. 


WOODLEYWONDERWORKS / CC-BY-2.0
The Responsible Behavior with Younger Children curriculum highlights the importance of family engagement in increasing knowledge and awareness of sexual acts.

New education intervention fills knowledge gaps on child sexual assault

A group of researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) conducted a randomized control trial on a perpetration-focused Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) prevention program among adolescents in Maryland. The new pilot curriculum — Responsible Behavior with Younger Children (RBYC) — was found to be associated with increased knowledge of CSA laws and awareness of avoiding and preventing CSA acts. The study is documented and published in Child Maltreatment.


COURTESY OF NASA, ESA, CSA AND STScI
Measurements taken by the James Webb Space Telescope of the exoplanet WASP-39b revealed water, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, sodium and potassium.

Science news in review: Nov 28

Let’s take a look at the biggest news in science over the past Thanksgiving break! The headlines include the effects of climate change on the immune system, the James Webb Space Telescope’s latest screening and a new phylogenetic branch.


PUBLIC DOMAIN
The use of CRISPR gene editing to treat breast and colon cancer is one of this week's biggest scientific breakthroughs.

Science news in review: Nov. 18

Before heading off for Thanksgiving, take a moment to learn about the amazing science being done around the world. This week’s news features NASA’s Artemis 1 mission to the moon, the COP27 climate conference, groundbreaking usage of gene-editing technology to combat cancer and octopuses throwing shells in the Pacific Ocean.


COURTESY OF IBM Research / CC BY-ND 2.0
Last week, IBM announced the development of a new quantum computer chip that more than tripled the number of qubits of its predecessor.

Science news in review: Nov. 16

From black holes to quantum chips, this week was full of exciting revelations in the science and technology community. As we hit the midpoint of November, take a look at the STEM news shaking the world!



UNITED NATIONS PHOTOS / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Women and children in Afghanistan face unique public health challenges. 

Panel explores public health progress in Afghanistan

“One Year On: The Pervasive Health Challenges in Afghanistan” is a four-part webinar series that invites panelists to talk about the ongoing health crises in Afghanistan after the regime change in 2021. Its second part, which took place on Nov. 8, focused on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) in Afghanistan.



COURTESY OF JUSTIN OPFERMANN
The PeriPath allows for safer pediatric cardiac procedures bypassing the need for open-heart surgeries.

PhD student wins grant for device that could make pediatric cardiac surgeries safer

PeriCor, co-founded by Hopkins Mechanical Engineering PhD student Justin Opfermann, won the Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health for PeriPath, a novel device that obviates the need for open cardiac procedures in children. This grant will provide around $1.8 million to help the development of the device in order to make it commercially available.