Science & Technology


Controversial soda tax is shown to be effective

February 27, 2019

 A soda tax may be an effective way to curb rates of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.  According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health conducted by the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), the consumption of sugary ...

  
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The soda tax raised eyebrows, but a new study shows it’s working.

  
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Doctors often incorrectly treat dialysis as the only option to treat poor kidneys.

Dialysis is not the only treatment for ailing kidneys

February 27, 2019

The discussion about end-of-life care often centers around the value of invasive surgeries and that of palliative care, which is designed to treat symptoms rather than the cause of illness. One treatment that is rarely referred to as voluntary is kidney dialysis, which is defined by the National Kidney Foundation as treatment that includes the removal of waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body; the maintenance of a safe level of potassium, sodium and bicarbonate in the blood; and control of blood pressure. 


Underground mountains discovered in Bolivia

February 27, 2019

During our days in elementary school science, most of us learned the basics of geology. We learned about the layers of the earth (crust, mantle, outer and inner core) and plate tectonics, among other topics. However, this was a great oversimplification of all that goes on under our feet. 

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A 1994 earthquake offered clues to find underground mountain range.

New cancer drug combination therapy is promising

February 27, 2019

Finding a cure for cancer is one of the most highly researched topics in science because of its major impact all over the world. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2018, there was an estimated 1.7 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in the United States and approximately 17 million new cases worldwide. 


Some clinical trials improperly report outcomes

February 21, 2019

Clinical trials are essential for testing new medications because they let researchers know whether new medications, from vitamins to vaccines, are safe and effective. However, a new study published in Trials shows that researchers aren’t properly reporting the outcomes of their clinical trials. This may make a new treatment appear to be safer or more effective than the product actually is.

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Published clinical trials often report on trial outcomes they did not intentionally study.

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Researchers found that certain species of fish can recognize themselves in mirror images.

Certain fish species might be more self-aware than we believed

February 20, 2019

A recent study revealed that self-awareness might not be a cognitive function unique to primates and mammals with complex cognitive systems. This possibility was opened by the surprising performance of a species of fish commonly known as the cleaner wrasse when faced with the mirror test.


Discussing paleontology, bias and representation with Prof. Siobhan Cooke

February 21, 2019

Scientists say we have entered a new epoch. Considering the lasting impacts of human-centered destruction on the world’s flora and fauna, researchers have stressed the need to mark the end of the Holocene and the start of the Anthropocene. The Center for Biological Diversity has stated that the last time Earth’s rate of species extinction was so high was 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs collapsed. Recent statistics show that 45 percent of Earth’s invertebrates have a “threatened” status, along with over 40 percent of amphibians and nearly 20 percent of bird species.

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Cooke first received her degree in anthropology from Barnard College.

Music is shown to affect mental state of the brain

February 21, 2019

Psychological studies show that music has an effect on the way people feel, think and behave. Music is beneficial, especially to those with anxiety and depression, but evidence has also shown that some music is linked with violent behavior.

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Researchers believe certain music genres might be linked to aggression.

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Female hormones interact with certain drugs to produce an increased addictive response.

Hormone cycles lead to greater addiction in women

February 21, 2019

Epidemiological clinical studies have shown that females are especially vulnerable to drug addiction and relapse. More specifically, females are more likely to transition to addiction soon after their first drug use and relapse, and they have greater cue-induced cravings for drugs. 


Pill with a new design can now deliver insulin

February 20, 2019

For individuals with type 2 diabetes, daily insulin injections are a necessary but uncomfortable routine. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), however, have developed a pill that can deliver doses of insulin, replacing daily injections. Their work was published in the journal Science.


A new treatment could reverse some paralysis

February 14, 2019

Approximately 300,000 Americans in the United States live with some form of spinal cord injury (SCI), with about 20,000 new cases each year. Vehicular accidents are the leading cause of SCIs, followed by incidences of falls, violent behaviors and mishaps during recreational activities. Depending on the severity of the SCI, these injuries may lead to paralysis in various areas of the body.


Gender might change perceived pain

February 14, 2019

In a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Brian Earp and his colleagues found that the perceived gender of a child influences an adult’s evaluation of that child’s pain. 

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Parent’s may perceive their child’s pain differently based on their gender.

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A dwarf galaxy possible as old as the universe has been discovered.

Hubble Space Telescope spots new dwarf galaxy

February 14, 2019

The Hubble Space Telescope is a joint project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) that was established in 1990 via a Space Shuttle mission STS-31 launch into low-Earth orbit. Throughout its 29-year lifespan, the telescope has contributed immensely to planetary studies, having made more than 1.3 million observations.


How have marriage and relationships changed over time?

February 18, 2019

As social media and online dating platforms like Tinder and Hinge become more and more visible in American society, people are beginning to question whether relationships and the concept of love are evolving. Many feel as though technology has superseded human interaction and elevated the desire for quick hookups, while others contend that modern relationships remain fundamentally the same as they were in prior generations. 

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Two professors at Hopkins discussed how love has changed in the U.S.

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The president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Redonda G. Miller, spoke at the symposium.

Osler symposium discusses future of health care

February 14, 2019

The Osler Medical Symposium hosted a talk on the future of health care in America on Tuesday, Feb. 5 called “Reimagining Healthcare for the 21st Century.” The event consisted of a presentation by Dr. Redonda G. Miller, president of the Hopkins Hospital, and a discussion moderated by Perry Tsai, president of the American Medical Student Association. 


Antarctic glacier cavity points to rapid melt rate

February 14, 2019

A NASA-led (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) study recently discovered an enormous cavity, comparable to two-thirds the area of Manhattan, at the bottom of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The cavity is much bigger than expected, a surprising find that scientists hope will lead to better models of glacial melting and their impact on sea level rise.

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AMS director addresses climate change implications

February 18, 2019

Paul Higgins, the director of the American Meteorological Society’s (AMS) Policy Program, gave a talk on Feb. 7 titled “Climate Change As a Public Issue: The Role of Science in Policy” as a part of the Randolph Bromery Spring 2019 Seminar Series.


Is the p53 gene truly the guardian of the genome?

February 13, 2019

The p53 gene is widely known as a cancer suppressor gene that reduces the frequency of tumors – but what if that wasn’t the case?  The highly cited statistic that p53 mutations are found in just over 50 percent of all human cancers suggests that when the gene is not functioning properly, cancer becomes more likely.

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Recently, researchers discovered that the p53 gene can both stop and accelerate cancer growth.

Vocabulary learning is possible during sleep

February 13, 2019

Those who have always dreamed of being a little more productive during sleep are in luck. A group of researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland have recently demonstrated that individuals can indeed learn new words while sleeping. Their findings were reported in a university media release.