Science & Technology

Experts question FDA’s approval of new opioid

November 14, 2018

The opioid epidemic has become one of the greatest concerns in the U.S., with an estimated 29,000 deaths from overdose of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, 115 Americans ...

Maintaining the Bitcoin platform requires a lot of electricity input.

Bitcoin’s electric demand may fuel global warming

November 15, 2018

Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency that shot to fame in 2017 due to its surge in price from below $1,000 to nearly $20,000 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). The spike was good news for those involved with the cryptocurrency and left those who weren’t involved curious. As of today, one bitcoin equals 5,586.01 United States dollars. 

The gradual evolution of today’s contact lenses

November 14, 2018

Contact lenses are the sort of everyday object that have become so commonplace to us, it is hard to appreciate just how strange they are in concept. How exactly did we arrive at putting small pieces of glass or plastic on our eyes to improve vision?

Wrap up: the latest in technology...

November 8, 2018

The new iPad Pro is the best tablet on the market  Apple recently released the new Macbook Air and iPad Pro in Brooklyn, N.Y. The highly anticipated new iPad Pro model did not disappoint. It is all around better than its predecessor with huge upgrades. Weighing in at one pound for the 11 inch and 1.4 pounds for the 12.9-inch model, Apple’s new iPad Pro has gotten lighter. 

Rocky Acosta / CC BY 3.0 
A common math problem is whether a Turing machine will complete a program in a finite time.

Mathematicians shed new light on spectral gaps

November 8, 2018

In physics, the spectral gap is the difference in energy between a material in the ground state and in the first excited energy state. A material is known as “gapped” if the difference in energy can be bounded below — in other words, if the difference is large — and “gapless” if the difference is small. 

Five women who changed the field of medicine

November 8, 2018

Women physicians encounter discrimination from both inside and outside the medical field. A Medscape survey of over 60,000 doctors revealed that 2017 salaries for women physicians were nearly 30 percent less than those of their male colleagues. In some areas of the country, such as Charleston, S.C., the annual pay disparity approached closer to 40 percent. The percentage of women deans of American medical schools remains under 20 percent.

035_03, 2/14/03, 1:04 PM,  8C, 2720x3426 (2267+3822), 100%, BW Copy,  1/60 s, R32.3, G26.0, B64.6

Noninvasive biomarker could identify autism

November 8, 2018

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by restricted interests and impaired social interaction and communication. Currently the diagnosis of ASD primarily relies on behavioral assessments, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DSM-V) and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). 

Changing guidelines would increase viable kidneys

November 8, 2018

At this moment in time, there are 95,307 people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the United States.  This number is especially harrowing when considered in combination with the fact that in 2017, a meager 15,218 kidneys were donated in the U.S. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, an average of 3,000 new patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month, and 4,761 patients died while waiting for a kidney transplant in 2014 alone. 

Tareq Salahuddin / CC by 2.0
Annually, 2,000 donor kidneys are thrown away when many are still viable.

Courtesy of Vincent Hilser
Hilser began at Hopkins in 2010 and now studies the conformational fluctuations of proteins.

Lab spotlight: Professor Vincent Hilser

November 8, 2018

When a hurricane swept through Texas in 2008, biologist Vincent Hilser lost much of his lab and his research. But, in the years since, he has found his place at Hopkins and continues to do the work he enjoys while teaching hundreds of students along the way.

Moving every 20 minutes can help you live longer

October 31, 2018

It is well known that physical activity is good for a person’s health but not many don’t know specifically how much physical activity is optimal. Recently, heart patients in Canada have been advised to move around every 20 minutes with the goal of prolonging their lives after a study was presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) 2018.

Researchers advise heart patients to move around every 20 minuttes.

Lab spotlight: Sauleh Siddiqui’s MODL

October 31, 2018

With his background, Sauleh Siddiqui, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Hopkins, could have joined the Mathematics, Economics or Public Policy departments. But none of these fields satisfied all three of his interests: math, society and problem-solving.


Siddiqui’s lab focuses on cross-disciplinary collaboration.

PTSD patients who pursue treatment preferences have better outcomes.

A choice in treatment helps those with PTSD

October 31, 2018

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects about 7.7 million American adults every year, according to PTSD United, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and providing resources for sufferers of PTSD. Characterized by nightmares, flashbacks and frightening thoughts, PTSD is a disorder that develops in people who have experienced a shocking, scary or dangerous event. 

Treatment for resistant cancers found

October 31, 2018

Breast cancer is the second most common form of diagnosed cancer for women in the United States and is capable of affecting both men and women. In recent years, increasing breast cancer awareness has resulted in higher survival rates and lower death rates associated with the condition. 

Pando, a colony of aspens with one massive underground root system, has been shrinking.

The most massive organism on Earth is shrinking

October 31, 2018

The most massive organism on earth is not, as one might expect, a blue whale or a giant sequoia but a forest of quaking aspens. Pando, consisting of around 47,000 individual trunks spread across 106 acres, is a clonal colony whose source is a single male tree. The trunks are genetically identical and share a massive underground root system.


Sponges are one of the simplest multicellular organisms found on Earth.

Scientists discover traces of world’s oldest sponge

October 31, 2018

From a cloud of dust came a planet, and on that planet came life. Life leaves its mark on Earth in the form of traditional fossils and trace fossils such as organic material, allowing scientists to study organisms that have been extinct for millions of years. A recent study has found evidence of multicellular life thriving on Earth up to 660 million years ago, 60 million years before what scientists previously believed.