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

Science & Technology



COURTESY OF TEAM POLAIR
The team of undergraduates designed their winning face mask with help from the Whiting School of Engineering and industry sponsors.

Hopkins team wins $250,000 for a face mask design

Team Polair, a Hopkins team of 25 undergraduate Biomedical Engineering students, took runner-up in the XPRIZE Next-Gen Mask Challenge, winning $250,000 for the design of a clear, adaptable face mask. The four-month international contest, sponsored by California nonprofit organization XPRIZE, challenged participants to design face masks that are user-friendly and safe for the environment.



COURTESY OF GENEVIEVE BRIAND
Figure 1.This graph shows deaths in each age group listed in the legend on the right as percentages of total deaths by all causes. Each column represents one week of data from Week 1 ending Feb 1 to Week 32 ending Sept 5.

Public health experts and biostatisticians weigh in on "COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data" webinar

The News-Letter published “A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19” on Nov. 22. The article was written to recap a webinar held on Nov. 13, where Genevieve Briand, the assistant director for the Master’s in Applied Economics program at Hopkins, presented data she had downloaded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and plotted independently. The analysis presented in the webinar was not a published, peer-reviewed study; it contradicted data published by Hopkins, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC.






PUBLIC DOMAIN
Hopkins undergrads are working with Anton Dahbura and Terry Thompson to continuously update the Cyber Attack Predictive Index.

Students work on an Index to help predict cyber conflicts

Last week, it was reported that cyberattacks on U.S. hospitals and health systems have increased this year. Clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine have been disrupted and hospitals’ access to patient records have been blocked as a part of ransomware attacks. 



A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19

Editor’s Note: After The News-Letter published this article on Nov. 22, it was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic. 






COURTESY OF HOPKINS BUSINESS OF HEALTH INITIATIVE
All four panelists agreed that a large federal budget is required to incentivize the public to vaccinate.

Panelists discuss how to optimize vaccination rates

The COVID-19 Symposium, held by Hopkins Business of Health Initiative (HBHI), featured a segment titled “Financial incentives and disincentives for achieving optimal COVID-19 vaccination rates” on Friday. A panel of experts in the fields of behavioral sciences, public health and economics discussed barriers and strategies to maximize COVID-19 vaccination rates. The discussion was moderated by Mario Macis, professor of Economics at the Hopkins Carey Business School.


BALTIMORE HERITAGE/CC0 1.0
Many medical schools have adapted to challenges caused by the pandemic. 

Applying to medical school during COVID-19

When Valerie Gomez, a senior Molecular and Cellular Biology major, planned to apply to medical school in the fall of 2019, she felt anxious about how she would manage the interview process. Typically, attending so many interviews would force her to miss class days and spend a large amount of money on travel.  




COURTESY OF REZA KALHOUR
Reza Kalhor is one of 20 recipients of the Packard Fellowship in 2020.

Research spotlight: Using genetic engineering to understand life's earliest stages

While movies like Jurassic World and Gattaca make the idea of editing genes seem wild and dangerous, some researchers at Hopkins have put these movie-induced fears to rest with applications for genetic engineering (which are far less likely to create dinosaurs that even Chris Pratt can’t tame). One of these scientists is Reza Kalhor, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.


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