Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 19, 2024

Science & Technology



GDJ / CC0 1.0
Zhu shares how her research experience as an undergraduate connects to a personal life story and facilitates her learning and growth in her academic life. 

Cognitive cartography: Reflection from a traveler en route to research

As an eight-year-old in Shanghai who did not accurately communicate pick-up time with my parents, I once managed to walk two miles from school to home without getting lost in the city traffic. However, I could not summon up the courage to do so until I mentally mapped the route I would take with great precision. In doing so, I created a cognitive map where external landmarks provided me with spatial directions that guided me home. 


NIAID / CC BY 2.0
A team of researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland discovered bioengineered E. coli’s ability to generate electricity and consume organic waste at the same time. 

Science news in review: Sept. 10

This week’s news highlights work from researchers around the world whose focuses range from sleep deprivation to flexible robots. We invite you to take a moment to appreciate endeavors and advances in a variety of science fields made by experts around the globe. 


AMILA TENNAKOON / CC BY 2.0
A study published by the University of Groningen this week determined that the germline mutation rate in baleen whales is not responsible for their low cancer rates.   

Science news in review: Sept. 3

Welcome back, Blue Jays! As the semester begins, The News-Letter’s Science and Technology section invites you to take a moment each week to learn about the exciting developments in STEM. Part of doing research is noting the research done by others, and we hope to provide you with a resource to do just that.  In the news this week are the impacts of ancient climate change on early humans, a new species of deep-sea bacteria, the discovery of new exoplanets and a survey of whale mutation rates.



PHILIPPE ALES / CC BY-SA 4.0
One article published last week connects graying hair to decreased movement of regenerative stem cells which rejuvenate hair follicles. 

Science news in review: April 26

With the semester coming to an end, we bring you The News-Letter’s final look of the year at some of the incredible science news from this past week. From nanowire brains to the origins of gray hair, we hope you enjoy this rundown, and we can’t wait to return with more science news in August!




DEEPAK PAL / CC BY-SA 2.0
Hatice Gunes delivered a seminar on the emotional potential of artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Hatice Gunes describes research on emotionally intelligent AI at LCSR seminar

The Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) hosted Hatice Gunes, a professor in the University of Cambridge’s department of Computer Science and Technology, on April 12. Her seminar was titled “Emotional Intelligence for Human-Embodied AI Interaction” and covered Gunes’ work at the intersection of psychology, computer science and robotics.


COURTESY OF NICOLE LABRUTO
Former Senator Barbara Mikulski discussed women's healthcare advocacy following a documentary screening featuring her work.

Senator Mikulski discusses women’s healthcare advocacy following film screening

Former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, the longest-serving senator in Maryland history and a faculty affiliate at the SNF Agora Institute, visited Homewood Campus on April 12 for a discussion with the Hopkins community following a screening of the mini-documentary Women’s Health Advocacy: Saving Lives A Million at a Time. The film was directed by Marnie Hertzler, a local documentarian, and Emma Hannaway, her producing partner. 



MORTEN BREKKEVOLD / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Among other science news, a study published in Nature last week showed that octopuses have taste receptors on their tentacles. 

Science news in review: April 16

With only two weeks left this semester, let us pause for a moment amid the flurry of exams and projects to explore the fascinating scientific breakthroughs from the past week. Recent advances provide further insights into areas of cancer biology, geoscience, zoology, physics and astronomy.



COURTESY OF RUSSELL CALDERON
Students participate in a Brain Bingo Social Night on April 4 as part of Nu Rho Psi's Brain Awareness Week.

Brain Awareness Week celebrates neuroscience at Hopkins

Brain Awareness Week (BAW) seeks to highlight recent developments in neuroscience and increase the Hopkins community’s awareness of neuroscience and behavioral biology. This year’s program, which ran from April 3–7, is focused on “Emotions and Personality” and was organized by the University’s Undergraduate Society for Neuroscience, Nu Rho Psi.


CC BY-SA 4.0 / فاطمه درستی
A recent Hopkins paper seeks to bridge the domain gap between synthetic data and real data.

Synthetic data could be the key for AI applications in medicine

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have been revolutionizing many fields of science including medicine. However, this technology raises the issue of acquiring data. AI needs annotated data to learn and ultimately perform at a high enough level of accuracy, but in many cases such as complex and novel surgical scenarios, high-quality data is not easily accessible. 


COURTESY OF UONOTTINGHAM /  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Students recently accepted into medical school share their thoughts and reflections on the application cycle. 

Project MD 2027: You got in! Now what?

Over a year has passed since I started searching for students preparing to apply for medical school for Project MD 2027. It’s hard to believe that, when reconnecting with three of these students in the past month, all had already received their acceptances to medical school. While a year is still an awfully long time to wait, as a writer, it has felt like time flew by. 


FIBONACCI BLUE /  CC BY 2.0
A recent event at the Bloomberg School of Public Health examined the response to new challenges to abortion access in the U.S. 

Bloomberg examines reproductive rights in the age of Dobbs

“Reproductive Rights in the Age of Dobbs,” an event hosted by the Center for Public Health and Human Rights and co-sponsored by Public Health Students for Reproductive Justice, featured three guest speakers on March 28 to share their insights on the ongoing discussion about the status quo of reproductive justice since the Dobbs v. Jackson decision on June 24, 2022. 


OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY / CC-BY-2.0
Alongside NASA and Carnegie Mellon University, Hopkins has launched a Space Technology Research Institute to investigate and certify additively manufactured products for use in aerospace technologies.

NASA sponsors $15 million JHU-CMU partnership institute

NASA, in collaboration with Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), recently launched one of their $15 million Space Technology Research Institutes (STRI) to investigate the qualification and certification of additively manufactured products for use in extreme environments, such as those undergone in spacecraft.


NIH IMAGE GALLERY / CC-BY-NC-2.0
Chinese researchers have developed a battery that induces increased hypoxic states in cancer tumors, increasing the potency of other cancer-fighting drugs.

Science news in review: April 2

As the semester rushes toward its finale, we hope you take a moment to learn about several of this week's major scientific breakthroughs. Among these are the development of hypoxia-inducing batteries, a new understanding of deep-sea circulation and the discovery of ultrasonic plant emissions released under stress.


NIH IMAGE GALLERY / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Hopkins researchers have developed the concept of organoid intelligence, utilizing brain organoids to create faster and more-efficient computers.

Intelligence in a dish: Hopkins researchers advance biocomputing

Utilizing 3D cultures of human brain cells, Hopkins researchers found promising evidence that the future of biocomputing has the potential to be faster, more powerful and dramatically more energy-efficient than silicon-based computing and artificial intelligence. They have coined the term of this new concept as organoid intelligence. The team’s article, published in the journal Frontiers in Science, outlines their plans and goals for organoid intelligence. 


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