Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 2, 2021

Science & Technology




PUBLIC DOMAIN
Mutations FAAH-OUT and FAAH can make someone unable to feel pain.

Two gene mutations can mute sensation of pain

From happily munching on chili peppers and feeling little to no pain during childbirth to accidentally ironing over her arms and being unaware of painful joint degeneration, Jo Cameron has lived a life of little pain, fear or anxiety. 




COURTESY OF JAEMIE BENNETT
Panelists talked about how to find jobs after a PhD not in academia.

WOW hosts its second Women in STEM event

On Saturday, April 6, Women of Whiting (WOW) hosted their second annual Women in STEM Symposium, bringing undergraduates, graduates, and professionals together for a day to help empower women in STEM careers.


COURTESY OF KEVIN LEWIS
Kevin Lewis’s lab works at the cross section of geophysics and geology.

Hopkins professor uses virtual reality goggles to study Mars

Kevin Lewis’ most recent project was to use gravity to “weigh a mountain” on Mars. In introductory physics classes, gravity is taught to be a constant equal to 9.8 meters per second. In reality, it varies from place to place depending on what is beneath you. If you stand on an iron ore, the pull of gravity will be a bit stronger. This quality makes gravity a useful geological tool to interrogate the subsurface of a planet. If gravity measurements do not match previously established expectations, then scientists can discern the density of the rocks underneath the surface.


 
PUBLIC DOMAIN
Playing team sports as a kid was shown to reduce depressive symptoms.

Playing team sports could lower risk for depression

A new study from the Washington University in St. Louis revealed that involvement in sports is associated with changes in young children’s brains. The study was published last February in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 


 
PUBLIC DOMAIN
Using light, scientists could reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms in rats.

Scientists could “turn off” alcohol cravings

It’s nearing midnight and you’ve spent a productive day in Brody. You’ve had dinner, but you’re feeling a bit hungry after all the time working on that assignment for that class you have. All of a sudden, you get a craving — French fries. Cravings are a common occurrence, but have you ever wondered exactly what it is that drives them?


Humans may be able to sense magnetic fields

It’s a process that allows pigeons, honey bees and whales to navigate the world through the Earth’s magnetic field. Magnetoreception, a so-called sixth, geomagnetic sense, is found in bacteria, arthropods and multiple vertebrate species. It was thought to be completely beyond the perception of beings humans.


 
PUBLIC DOMAIN
A study at the University of California, Santa Cruz showed that solitude could have benefits.

Study shows solitude can be good for mental health

In this day and age, depression amongst college students is a growing issue: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), more than 10 percent of all college students have been diagnosed with depression. While many may believe that a telltale sign of depression can be social withdrawal and isolation, new studies conducted at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) show that this may not always be the case; in fact, young adults who spend time alone can gain many benefits from this chosen solitude.



 
PUBLIC DOMAIN
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.


 
 
COURTESY OF LAURA WADSTEN
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.



PUBLIC DOMAIN
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. 



CC BY-SA 2.0 / GLOBAL PANORAMA
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. 


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