Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 1, 2021

Science & Technology



NEHA SANGANA/PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
SON Assistant Professor Michelle Patch noted that not everyone can access mass vaccination sites.

Panelists highlight racial inequities in vaccine access and distribution

The School of Nursing (SON) held an event titled “COVID Vaccine Equity: Reaching Underserved Communities Locally and Globally” on April 7. The discussion was co-moderated by Angie Chang, manager of the Center for Global Initiatives (CGI), and CGI Director Nancy Reynolds, also co-director of the Collaborating Centre for Nursing Information and Knowledge Management at the World Health Organization (WHO).



LAKSHAY SOOD/LAYOUT EDITOR
The team is testing out different messaging styles to see what resonates with people hesitant to be vaccinated. 

Only half of American adults report they will be vaccinated ASAP, study finds

According to a study published in Vaccine at the end of March, only half of adults in the U.S. claim they will accept the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Since the herd immunity threshold for COVID-19 requires that around 90% of adults be vaccinated or immunized through infection, public health experts still must convince a large segment of the population of the vaccines’ effectiveness. 


ROSIE JANG/CARTOON EDITOR
Researchers found that from March to June 2020, Republican-led states had lower COVID-19 incidence rates than Democrat-led states. But that trend flipped from June to December 2020.

Researchers calculate association between governors' political ideology and COVID-19 incidence

If you look at a graphic that maps the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. you will immediately see that the burden of the pandemic differs across state lines. A team of researchers from Hopkins and the Medical University of South Carolina recently investigated these interstate discrepancies and published their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 


COURTESY OF JOHN D’CRUZ
Unlike other models which calculate geothermal flux, the model developed by Harihar Rajaram and other researchers accounts for topography.

Model can help improve predictions of melting rate of ice sheets

The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica comprise more than 90% of Earth’s freshwater ice. When it comes to glaciology, global warming is often touted as the most important issue. But according to some scientists, there is another issue that is just as important: geothermal heat flux (GHF). 


COURTESY OF TRISHA PARAYIL
The archive consists of documents which were already publicly accessible, as well as some which previously required payments to view. 

Researchers create digital repository of documents pertaining to the opioid epidemic

Experts at Hopkins and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) recently launched the Opioid Industry Documents Archive. The archive consists of a digital repository of publicly disclosed documents from recent judgments, settlements and ongoing lawsuits regarding the opioid crisis. Within the archive, there are 3,300 documents — about 131,000 pages — contained in six collections.





COURTESY OF JOHN D’CRUZ
Earlier this month, the auction house Christie’s sold “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” by digital artist Beeple for $69 million.  

Non-fungible tokens, explained

If you had a few million dollars to spare, you could have been the proud owner of Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which recently sold for $2.9 million. You could also buy art by singer and visual artist Grimes, who recently sold pieces for over $6 million. If you’re interested in owning a LeBron James highlight video, NBA is selling them on their new marketplace at NBA Top Shot — they have recently sold over $230 million of digital collectibles. 


Study of Orthodox Jewish communities sheds light on cultural bonds during COVID-19

In April 2020, Dr. Israel Zyskind spent his Passover in the car. Although driving during the holiday is typically not permitted, lives were at risk. A private-practice pediatrician affiliated with New York University and based out of New York, Zyskind spent the day visiting 10 to 20 COVID-19-positive households in his community, conducting wellness checks to see if individuals needed to be hospitalized. It certainly was a holiday like no other. 


COURTESY OF JAMI VALENTINE MILLER
Being the only Black woman pursuing a PhD in physics at Hopkins led Miller to create African American Women in Physics, Inc.

Barrier-breaking physics alum reflects on her journey

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” According to Jami Valentin Miller, this quote — attributed to Ernest Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics — encapsulates the elitist mindset of many physicists. In 2006, Miller became the first Black woman to receive her PhD in physics at Hopkins. The fact that it took so long for Hopkins to grant a PhD in physics to a Black woman, she said, reflects the elitism that permeates the field.




ROSIE JANG/CARTOON EDITOR
The burgeoning technique can detect viruses in the environment. 

Researchers use new test to understand environmental phages

In the field of microbial ecology, a positive virus test isn’t always a bad thing. Of course, the viruses in most ecological studies aren’t the kind infecting humans or making headlines every night. Rather, scientists like Eric Sakowski are interested in the distribution and impact of bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria. 


LAKSHAY SOOD/LAYOUT EDITOR
Hopkins experts described how the severity of the winter storms took the Electric Reliability Council of Texas  by surprise.

Why did the Texas power grids fail?

Recently, Texas faced its coldest weather in more than 70 years and concurrently experienced state-wide utilities failure. When temperatures in Texas dropped lower than temperatures in Alaska, more than 4.5 million homes and businesses lost their power and at least 70 people lost their lives.




ROSIE JANG/CARTOONS EDITOR
Columnist Jessica Kasamoto suggests reading beyond headlines and listening to multiple viewpoints.

Suggestions to be a smart consumer of science news

Among all the changes to our lifestyle recently, one of the more subtle ones is that many of us are reading the science portion of the news a lot more. PhDs in biology, virology and immunology have amassed thousands of followers on Twitter. Scientists have made headlines over tweets, interviews and press conferences — an ability previously reserved by singers, actors, politicians and other influencers. 


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