Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 4, 2022

Science & Technology



ROSIE JANG/CARTOONS EDITOR
Students must confront many factors when deciding whether this is the year to apply to medical school. 

Project MD 2027: making the decision to apply to medical school

When Siena DeFazio was younger, she dreamed of opening a free veterinary clinic. Growing up in rural Florida with lots of official and unofficial pets, her family seldom had the means to pay to save an animal’s life after an illness or accident. Now that DeFazio is a junior at Hopkins, she is interested in treating a different set of patients.


SHIXART1985/CC-BY-SA 2.0
The goal of the free COVID-19 Ambassadors course is to empower more people to communicate with parents in the U.S. who have concerns about vaccinating their children.

Hopkins offers free COVID-19 vaccine ambassadors course

The School of Public Health has released a new virtual course titled COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador Training: How to Talk to Parents. The course, completely free on Coursera, is the latest offering from the Hopkins COVID-19 Training Initiative, which aims to share COVID-19 training support for public health workers across the United States.



COURTESY OF SUA MYONG 
With the oldest undergraduate program in the nation, the Biophysics department at Hopkins has curated a closely knit major that allows students to study life’s processes while incorporating perspectives from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science. 

Meet the Major: Biophysics equips students to investigate life’s elemental processes

Studying biomolecular processes at the nanometer scale is not an opportunity every major or even every university offers. With the oldest undergraduate program in the nation, the Thomas C. Jenkins Department of Biophysics at Hopkins has curated a closely knit major that allows students to study life’s processes while incorporating perspectives from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science. 


WOKANDAPIX/CC-BY-SA 2.0
Mental health varied fourfold across groups of children according to both the type and amount of relational health risks and social health risks they experienced.

Study looks at influences on children's mental health

As the COVID-19 pandemic approaches the two-year mark, the mental health crisis induced by it continues to escalate. With 14% of U.S. youth and 19% of adults suffering from mental illness, understanding the factors that influence mental health is a crucial endeavor. These efforts are led in part by Christina Bethell, director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative and professor of population, family and reproductive health at the School of Public Health.


COURTESY OF GEORGE DIMOPOULOS AND MARIA LUISA SIMÕES
Dimopoulos (left) and Simões (right) are two members of the team that identified an important gene in malaria transmission.

Hopkins scientists identify vital gene in malaria transmission

Last month, four Hopkins scientists published their research on a potential way to fight against malaria in Public Library of Science Biology. They discovered that knocking out C-type lectins 4 (CTL4), a gene in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, results in effective resistance to the malaria parasite. 





COURTESY OF JOHN D'CRUZ
A flu shot is one way to gain protection from the flu.

Hopkins doctors weigh in on this year's flu season

The holiday season also heralds the season of sniffles. The world is facing its second flu season during the global COVID-19 pandemic; while cases of the flu remained low last year, scientists and doctors don’t expect this trend to last.


JARED WONG/CC BY 2.0
Researchers believe that AI technologies will assist in determining the best practices to help people age.

Hopkins receives grant to use AI to promote healthy aging

The National Institute on Aging has allocated Hopkins a $20 million grant to promote the growth of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to enhance the care of senior citizens, enabling them to enjoy longer independence. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of those who are over the age of 65, 80% have at least one chronic condition, and one third experience limitations in their daily life activities.


ALEXANDRA KOCH/CC BY-SA 2.0
The PACE study aims to develop a public health campaign that supports families, especially in undeserved communities.

Hopkins study examines return to in-person schooling

The Parents And Communities as Experts (PACE) study seeks to understand how caregivers and community members view the return to in-person school during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team hopes to use the results to develop a public health campaign to support families. 


COURTESY OF ALEXANDRE BUISSE / CC-BY-SA-3.0
The hackled orb weaver spins a web in midair.

Hopkins lab unravels the secrets of the spider web

Hopkins researchers have uncovered the complex mechanisms by which spiders build their webs, revealing a host of intricate steps and dynamic complexes that belie the supposed lack of cognition present in “lower level” organisms.


COURTESY OF TEJA KAKANI
The student residence Charles Commons will be renamed for Frederick Scott and Ernie Bates, two Hopkins alumni.

A look at the four individuals giving their names to campus buildings

Future undergraduate students at Hopkins will know the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories (UTL) and Charles Commons by other names. In an effort to recognize and elevate historically marginalized and underrepresented people in the institution’s history, Hopkins will rename these campus buildings and the Hopkins Outpatient Center in their honor. 


COURTESY OF MEG CHOW
Labyrinth Devices is developing an implant for patients experiencing vestibular dysfunction, which results from injury to the inner ear.

Hopkins lab advances research on vestibular implants to treat loss of balance

Labyrinth Devices, a medical device startup based in Baltimore, is the sponsor of an early clinical trial of implants for those suffering from ailments of the vestibular labyrinth in the inner ear, a complex and dynamic system made up of twisting canals and end organs that helps to maintain the body’s sense of balance and vestibulo-ocular reflex.


COURTESY OF KAWSAR TALAAT
Talaat's son was vaccinated on Saturday, Nov. 7. Talaat and Mendelson discussed the benefits of expanding the availability of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. 

School of Public Health faculty discuss benefits of COVID-19 vaccine approval for children

The pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children from age 5 to 11 years old was approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Nov. 2 and has since been distributed in hospitals and pharmacies nationwide. The News-Letter interviewed School of Public Health faculty Dr. Kawsar Talaat and Tamar Mendelson to discuss the impact this will have on children's wellbeing.  



COURTESY OF EMMA ANDERSON
Women in Sub-Saharan Africa can face several particular health challenges when pregnant.

Bloomberg spotlights maternal mortality research in Sub-Saharan Africa

Childbirth is often associated with joy, but for women, pregnancy is often a time of vulnerability. A pregnant woman or newborn dies around the world every eleven seconds. Around 810 preventable deaths occur every day from pregnancy and childbirth, according to World Health Organization data from 2017. In Sub-Saharan Africa, maternal mortality rates are almost 50 times higher for women compared to in high-income countries. In 2020, Sub-Saharan Africa had a maternal mortality rate of 302 deaths per 100,000 live births, a stark contrast to the United States’ rate of 35 deaths per 100,000 live births. 


MDF / CC BY-SA 2.0
An adult male Baltimore Oriole. This was one of many bird species included in the bird urbanization study.

Urbanization is impacting the biodiversity of birds

Hopkins researchers suggest that increasing natural spaces and tree canopy while reducing impervious surfaces (hard areas that prohibit water dissipation) has significant effects on improving biodiversity, specifically of birds.


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