Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 6, 2023

Science & Technology




BALTIMORE HERITAGE / CC BY 1.0
A team at the School of Medicine has found that changes in extracellular vesicles can be used to monitor the development of postpartum depression.

Study aims to improve methods of predicting risk of postpartum depression

A team of researchers at the School of Medicine led by Sarven Sabunciyan, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, discovered that changes in mRNA communication through extracellular vesicles are connected to postpartum depression. The team’s findings were published in Molecular Psychiatry, which further details their impact on the field.


COURTESY OF JERNEJ FURMAN / CC BY 2.0
Persistent respiratory conditions, including coughing, fatigue, dyspnea and chest pain, constitute a large component of post-COVID symptoms.

A hacking cough or new personality trait: respiratory impacts of long COVID

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, respiratory symptoms such as fatigue, dyspnea, chest pain and cough are some of the most common post-COVID symptoms among both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. As such, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working to improve its identification of symptoms and diagnoses experienced by patients with persistent respiratory conditions post-COVID. 


COURTESY OF NASA / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Satellite images from NASA show that cities like Qambar are heavily inundated.

The role of climate change in Pakistan's floods

Starting in mid-June of this year, the increased intensity of monsoon rains have led to flooding conditions over certain parts of Pakistan. A monsoon can refer to the rainy season created by a change in wind patterns or a dry season. However, in Asian regions, monsoons mainly refer to the rainy season. But how is climate change connected to these floods?


COURTESY OF ZACHARY BAHAR.
Amber Jacobs discusses a treatment involving cress, mustard and rocket found in Greek, Roman and Egyptian sources at the Prescription to Prediction conference.

Ancient sciences given new focus on Hopkins campus

Prescription to Prediction: The Ancient Sciences in Cross-Cultural Perspective conference brought Egyptologists, Classicists, ancient Near Eastern scholars and science historians from around the world to Scott-Bates Commons on Oct. 6–7 to discuss intercultural exchange of medical and scientific knowledge in the ancient world.



NF UTVOL / CC BY-SA 4.0
The Stoop Storytelling Series produced "Hidden in Plain Sight" in collaboration with the Bloomberg School of Public Health to highlight the stories of public health professionals in Baltimore.

The Stoop Storytelling Series showcases public health narratives

The Stoop Storytelling Series and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health collaborated to bring the “Hidden in Plain Sight” event to the Enoch Pratt Central Library on Sept. 22. The event featured a live recording of an episode of the Stoop Storytelling Series podcast, published on Oct. 3, where a panel of speakers told their stories about the impact of public health on their lives.


COURTESY OF VIGGY VANCHINATHAN
People gathered on Sept. 26 to celebrate the successful completion of the DART mission.

Mission failed successfully: DART impacts asteroid's trajectory

Here’s an interview question for you: how would you save humanity if an asteroid was hurtling through space towards our planet? Hopkins students and professors gathered Monday, Sept. 26 on Keyser Quad to view a live broadcast of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL) Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), their answer to the question. 


CASSANDRA CASARES / CC BY-SA 4.0
Since 2020, many medical school interviews have become virtual and are planning to stay that way for the foreseeable future. 

Project MD 2027: do I have to wear pants to my Zoom interview?

Smrithi Upadhyayula, a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas, was already resigned to the fact that her email inbox would stay packed for the rest of her medical school application cycle. Every day, there seemed to be updates from one school or another about transcripts that needed to be updated or rec letters that needed to be resubmitted. 


COURTESY OF DELPHINE TAN
Jenlu Pagnotta, Delphine Tan and Hannah Yamagata pose at Design Day.

Hopkins team reaches finals of Collegiate Inventors Competition

Three Hopkins undergraduates have been named finalists in the Collegiate Inventors Competition for developing “The Dynamic Brace”, a brace for children born with clubfoot.  The team, which includes Hopkins alum Jenlu Pagnotta, senior Delphine Tan and senior Hannah Yamagata, began their work as a class project in their Multidisciplinary Engineering class in fall of 2022. 



NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING, NIH / CC BY-NC 2.0
In Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, damaging protein clumps can cause chronic brain inflammation, muscle tremors, slowness of movement and many other severe symptoms.

Thinking small: a new approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases

Our brains are robust and highly efficient, tasked with managing our memories, emotions and identity. But what happens when this organ breaks down?  Xiaobo Mao’s team at the School of Medicine, which specializes in answering this question, published a paper in Nature Communications that details a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases like Lewy body dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The team’s findings focus on using nanobodies to disarm harmful protein clumps. 


COURTESY OF MATHIEU ET AL/ CC BY 4.0
Over the course of the past summer, monkeypox cases globally have increased substantially. 

Hopkins hosts global monkeypox briefing

On Sept. 12, Dr. Matthew M. Hamill, assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the School of Medicine and clinical chief for Sexually Transmitted Infections at Baltimore City Health Department, provided an update to the monkeypox outbreak on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health.


COURTESY OF JAY HUANG / CC BY 2.0
The Inflation Reduction Act promises more funding towards green energy. 

The Inflation Reduction Act and its investment for climate change action

The political side of climate change has been slightly quiet until recently. However while Trump was president, we did see movement — unfortunately in the backwards direction. In one of my previous articles, I wrote about how Trump took the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. This step was not exactly surprising, but it did remove the commitment of the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas production. 



ALAN CAMERER / CC0 Public Domain
Nearly four years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term effects of COVID-19 remain largely unknown.

The impacts of pediatric long COVID

There are still many unknowns surrounding long COVID — also called long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, post-acute sequelae of SARS CoV-2 infection, long-term effects of COVID, chronic COVID, post-COVID conditions (PCC) and post-COVID-19. 


COURTESY OF CHRIS DEVERS / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
College athletes may suffer from the pressure to both perform and balance their academic commitments.

A quiet crisis in college sports

Student-athletes across the nation are seeking more support for their mental health. In a recent NCAA survey, rates of mental exhaustion, anxiety and depression have remained 1.5 to two times higher than pre-pandemic rates. 


AHMAD ADLA / CC BY-SA 4.0
The fractal nature of the Mandelbrot set is frequently cited as one of the most wonderful mathematical objects. 

Finding wonder in religion and mathematics

When asked what my majors are, I often hear the same response: “Interesting.”  While I agree that Hebrew Bible and Mathematics are interesting, there are two very different connotations to that word: 1) “I’m genuinely interested in what you’re learning and would love to hear more about it,” and 2) “Why are you studying that? What do you hope to gain from it?”



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