Science & Technology

Trojan Horse method could treat a rare blood disorder

October 4, 2018

Remember the tale of the Trojan Horse?  The Greeks gift Troy a large, wooden horse as a peace offering. Then, at night, soldiers spill out of the belly of the gift and open the doors to Troy, laying waste to the city and effectively ending a 10-year ... CC by 4.0 
Blood cells can potentially carry treatment for TTP directly to where it will work best.


Nanotherapy offers hope for renal cell carcinoma

October 4, 2018

Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in both men and women. In adults, renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be 65,340 new diagnoses and 14,970 deaths due to renal cell carcinoma in 2018. A novel treatment has been developed that may be able to reverse drug resistance in renal cell carcinoma, using nanotherapy in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs. 

Biomarker is discovered for study of Alzheimer’s

October 4, 2018

An estimated 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. In comparison to more well-understood diseases like cancer and heart disease, Alzheimer’s is difficult because there aren’t any tools that easily diagnose it or any medications to effectively treat it.

Brain cell death is a predominant feature of Alzheimer’s patients.

New study reveals four major personality types

October 4, 2018

As early as Hippocrates’ time, people have pondered on the best way to classify personalities. In fact, Hippocrates came up with one of the oldest personality type systems in the world, where he defined four personality types based on a person’s “humor” or the proportion of bodily fluids in one’s body. The predominant form of fluid determines the person’s appearance, behavior and psychological type.

Octopuses and humans share serotonin receptors

October 4, 2018

Scientists have found preliminary evidence that humans and octopuses have an evolutionary link that diverged over 500 million years ago. Serotonin receptors conserved in the brains of both octopuses and humans show that they both exhibit similar behaviors. 

Scientists recently found evidence that octopuses and humans have genetically-similar serotonin receptors.

How do we teach sex ed in America?

October 4, 2018

In light of the #MeToo Movement and the allegations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh, many educators and students are looking at how youth are taught about consent and healthy sexual relationships in primary school. 

One in three freshmen has mental health issues

September 26, 2018

In a survey aimed to estimate the prevalence of mental health disorders among incoming first-year college students, 35 percent of the 13,984 respondents reported a history of one or more mental disorders. This study was conducted at 19 colleges across 8 different countries (Australia, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Spain and the United States) by the World Health Organization (WHO) Mental Health International College Student (WMH-ICS) project.

Many college counseling centers are not large enough to help all students.

Public Domain
Lunar swirls may be a sign that the moon contains lava tubes that trapped an electric field.

Lunar swirls are remnants of moon's geological past

September 26, 2018

Like a comforting presence, the moon is constantly circling above our heads and shining down on us when the sun sets, lighting up our night sky. But for an object that is always hovering near by, it has features that we are still unable to explain. Lunar swirls look like bright, beautiful clouds scattered across the moon’s surface, but why and how they got there was always a mystery. 

How stress can impact us on a cellular level

September 27, 2018

Stress seems to be an integral part of everyday life, especially on college campuses. While some students may cope with ups and downs better than others, most people are familiar with the physical and psychological responses that come with the pressures of everyday life. 

Research shows that expressing gratitude is important for social relationships.

Study finds barriers to expressing gratitude

September 26, 2018

A study conducted by Amit Kumar and Nicholas Epley at the University of Chicago (UChicago) found that people routinely undervalue the benefits of expressing gratitude. Their findings suggest that the disconnect between the expresser’s expectations and the recipient’s experience may prevent people from conveying gratitude, such as through sending letters that increase positive feelings for the recipient and expresser.

The brain’s opioid system may lead to overeating

September 26, 2018

Most people have had the experience of being full, yet still eyeing the plate of fries sitting at the end of the table. As friends and families continue to chat around the dinner table after a three-course meal, hands continue to subconsciously reach out, time after time, for more food. But what physiological process actually takes place when someone becomes excessively full from food?

Norwood charity/ CC BY-SA 3.0 
Dementia, a debilitating disease, may be diagnosable by a computer.

A conversation with an avatar could detect dementia

September 27, 2018

Technology has come a long way, from using a telegraph to transmit morse code to high-speed computers and touchscreen phones that can do virtually anything. It has expanded to encompass a large part of daily life with a wide array of applications. Technology continues to branch out into various other disciplines and has already helped to make huge strides in improving the quality of health care. 

Quantifying hatred: pitfalls of social media AI

September 26, 2018

No technological innovation since the telephone has influenced human communication like social media. Never before has it been easier to keep in touch with old friends from high school, remember your great uncle’s birthday or waste study time watching short videos. 

Social media posts often contain abusive content that is overlooked by machine learning algorithms.

Hopkins issues 24 new BME recommendations

September 27, 2018

Hopkins may be best known for its medical training, but it also has a more-than-sizeable dent in the biomedical engineering (BME) world. BME scientists at Hopkins research everything from electronic models of hearts tailored for a single patient to using molecular mechanisms in a cell to pinpoint a disease.

CRISPR is an extremely powerful gene editing system that was originally found in bacteria.

CRISPR treats Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

September 19, 2018

Since the first successful use of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) as a gene editing tool in 2013, CRISPR has become a large topic of conversation both in science and at the dinner table. Recently, CRISPR has been used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common fatal genetic disease, in dogs. If it proves successful in humans, it could potentially cure DMD.

Scientists explore ways to harness sustainable energy

September 20, 2018

With global warming such a hot button topic in today’s day and age, it is unsurprising that scientists have been continually searching for new renewable sources of energy that don’t harm our planet. While hydroelectric and solar energy are now common energy sources, scientists have seemingly combined the two practices in new studies at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) in Germany: Researchers at the university have split water molecules using solar energy. This could be a promising renewable energy source for future generations. 

HopHacks hosts its biannual event at Homewood

September 20, 2018

More than 300 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country came together to participate in the biannual HopHacks event this past weekend on the Homewood Campus. HopHacks is organized Major League Hacking (MLH). It gives teams a limited 36 hours to develop an innovative model or app.

Over 300 students from across the U.S. came to HopHacks on Homewood Campus this past weekend to try and develop a model or app in 36 hours.

John Leszczynski/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Deforestation in cloud forests is causing birds to migrate to higher altitudes.

Birds are losing homes due to deforestation

September 19, 2018

The cloud forests of Honduras are a sight to behold, as they are characterized by a low-level cloud cover at the canopy level. Also known as a montane rainforest, this region has heavy rainfall and constant condensation in the air, a result of the cooling of moisture-laden air currents deflected upward by the mountains. Moisture is abundant from water vapor, and due to elevation and climate conditions, the ecosystem is fed directly by clouds.