Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
June 2, 2020

Science & Technology

Scientists came up with a new genetic method to revert blindness.

Gene insertion helps blind mice regain eyesight

First evolved in animals 550 million years ago, the ability to see is essential to life. It helps animals navigate the world around them. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), may have found a way to reverse blindness caused by retinal degeneration and give people back the ability to fully experience the world.

Veronica Robinson, great-granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks, spoke at Hopkins this Tuesday.

Osler Medical Symposium welcomes the Lacks family

The Osler Medical Symposium hosted a discussion on Tuesday, April 2 titled “Medical Ethics: Privacy and Patient Rights” in Hodson 110. Members of the symposium welcomed Cynda Rushton, a professor and founding member of the Berman Institute for Bioethics, and Veronica Robinson, who is the great-granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks. The granddaughter and great-great granddaughter of Henrietta Lacks were also at the event. 

New Jersey passes bill to legalize assisted suicide

On Monday, March 25 the New Jersey state legislature passed a new bill that would legalize the practice of assisted suicide for its state residents. This was the first time that the bill went to an actual vote in the New Jersey Senate, where it narrowly passed.

O’Keefe highlights the disparities in Native American communities.

Meet the Hopkins professor tackling health equity for indigenous communities

Addressing disparities in Native Americans’ access to healthcare and quality of treatment is a critical public health issue. In a joint survey from National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, almost a quarter of Native Americans reported having faced discrimination during a doctor’s visit. Approximately 15 percent of participants indicated that the fear of encountering bias from medical professionals prevented them from pursuing healthcare services. 

Even in treatment centers, Ebola continues to spread through the DRC.

The Ebola epidemic could continue for another year in the Congo

The Ebola outbreak that began in August of 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is projected to last for another year, reported Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield. Redfield’s prediction, stated in an interview with the New York Times on March 15, came after his visit to the affected region. 

New discovery may reveal origin of the solar system

Nothing is impossible. This statement is perhaps best embodied by the planetary sciences, a field in which scientists have made so many discoveries that seem so far removed from the normal everyday. Take the Big Bang for instance. It is a familiar concept to many, but scientists don’t really have any primary sources for the actual event. 

In the US, Hispanics and blacks are plagued the most by air pollution.

Study finds air pollution affects minorities most

While racial inequalities are evident in the United States when it comes to disparities in categories like wealth, educational opportunities and unemployment rates, a recent public health study has shown that racial inequality exists when it comes to air pollution as well. 

Seven groundbreaking black women in STEM

Recently, many have begun to call attention to the lack of intersectionality within Women’s History Month celebrations. Despite the historical and current contributions women of color have made in the battle for women’s equality, their narratives and achievements tend to receive little acknowledgement. 

HIV occurrences had decreased form 2010 to 2013, but since then they have plateaued.

Reduced HIV incidence in the U.S. has stalled

A new report on the incidences of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States reveals that the decline in HIV infections has plateaued as the Trump administration reveals its intention to end the HIV epidemic by 2030.

Genetics might play a role in healthy marriages

The secret behind a successful marriage may be more than just passion. According to a new study, genetics may also play a role. Yale scientists found that a gene responsible for emotional stability may also predict marriage satisfaction. This may pave the way for a future study on how genetics can impact the quality of relationships over time.

Wrap up: the latest in technology...

Elizabeth Warren campaigns in New York City  Known as a strong critic of tech giants, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently held a campaign event in New York City, where the tech conglomerate Amazon was recently effectively pushed out. She gathered an audience of more than 1000 people who listened to her speak about “tech companies who think they rule the earth,” among other issues. Much of her plan is driven to protect the people’s interests and protect smaller competitors from tech monopolies. The official Democratic-presidential candidate’s policies would push existing tech giants to divest in their acquisitions. In addition, she would implement laws that limit a tech giant’s influence and participation in its own platform.

A pair of semi-identical twins in Australia share only 78% paternal DNA.

Doctors identify first case of semi-identical twins

A strange pregnancy puzzled doctors in Australia. An initial ultrasound showed two embryos sharing a placenta, which normally indicates monozygotic, or identical, twins. But weeks after, another ultrasound revealed the two fetuses had different sexes, a seeming contradiction to the earlier discovery. 

Crew Dragon’s successful launch prompts future manned missions .

SpaceX's Crew Dragon lands in Atlantic Ocean

On March 8, the first flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon landed 200 miles off the coast of Florida at 8:45 a.m. Demo-1, as the flight was called, was launched on March 2 and spent a short, five-day visit at the International Space Station (ISS) before returning back to Earth. 

Robotic devices used in cancer surgery might be risky

In a statement issued on Feb. 28, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned against using robotically-assisted surgical devices in surgeries like mastectomies and other cancer-related illnesses that specifically affect women’s health. 

The surge against vaccination has been spurred further by social media.

Social media perpetuates the anti-vax movement

The flood of false information about vaccines spreading through social media has contributed to decreases in vaccination rates and increases in the number of cases of preventable communicable disease, according to Simon Stevens, chief executive officer of the National Health Service (NHS) in England. 

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