Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
March 30, 2020 | °F in Baltimore

Science & Technology



 COURTESY OF ALLISON SEYLER
DURA recipients and Hugh Hawkins Fellows discussed their work in a panel presentation.

DURA and Hawkins Fellows study archival objects

What is the relevance of a seemingly obscure collection of archival objects at Hopkins in an age of growing technological prowess? This past summer, five students, funded by the DURA and Hugh Hawkins Fellowships, were able to delve into their interests in a multitude of topics ranging from the book objects of Italian Futurists to tuberculosis in Baltimore. 


COURTESY OF RUDIGER von der HEYDT
A professor emeritus of Neuroscience, von der Heydt studied the object perception and recognition. 

Discussions in Research: Our visual system and AI

Just a few years ago, a Tesla autopilot car caused a fatal crash because it mistook a truck as an empty, clear sky. To us, this was a mistake even a toddler would not make. It was certainly a shock for the public to learn that the cutting edge technology made such an error. So how did it happen?


CC By CC/0
John Herrington was the first Native American person to go to space.

Recognizing the impact of indigenous scientists

At its best, science is an institution filled with wonder, optimism and the promise of exciting new discoveries. However, the history of science is incomplete without acknowledging the voices of scientists that are silenced by systematic biases. In celebration of Indegenous Peoples’ Day on Oct. 14, here are just a few notable scientists and inventors of Native American heritage. 


 
PUBLIC DOMAIN
All the candidates agree that the US should achieve zero-net emissions.

Find out where the Democratic candidates stand on climate change

You probably guessed that I would talk about climate change as an issue in the 2020 election, since it is a crisis currently getting a lot of attention. Multiple sources have highlighted the fact that Democratic voters now rank climate change as a top priority in their political decisions. Candidates have responded to this, emphasizing their own concern and arguing over the best way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and fight climate change. 


Ada Lovelace found poetry in computer algorithms

Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer. She, working alongside Charles Babbage, made the critical leap from math to machine — calculation to algorithm. This jump was only possible because of the complex intersections in her past that merged art and logic together. 


Professors question consciousness and intelligence at screening of Ex Machina

We live in a world where technology has already greatly permeated our lives. In the world of Ex Machina, a 2014 film directed by Alex Garland, technology has extended far beyond smartphones and wearables and has reached a new zenith. In Ex Machina, a machine that seems to mirror the things that make us human is no longer a distant possibility but a reality. 


COURTESY OF ISABEL Thomas
The Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Seminar series hosted the discussion last week.

Can we use stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries?

On Oct. 10, the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Seminar Series hosted Sarah Heilshorn of Stanford University. Heilshorn’s research bridges materials science — the study of how the structures of different materials affect their functions and properties — and clinical impact.


EDA INCEKARA/PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
The lecture series examines the legacy of Maryland’s historic architecture.

Lecture at Homewood House discusses historic home restoration

Though you might not have spent much time inside the building, it is hard to ignore the presence of the Federal-period Palladian house as you navigate the campus. Homewood House, as the oldest piece of architecture on campus, has in fact served as architectural inspiration for subsequent campus buildings, including Gilman Hall. 


COURTESY OF LAURA WADSTEN 
Semenza and colleagues researched the way cells sense oxygen, and how they function in low oxygen conditions, or hypoxia.

Professor Semenza wins Nobel Prize in Medicine for work on HIF

Early Monday morning, the Nobel Assembly announced that Dr. Gregg L. Semenza, the C. Michael Armstrong Professor of Pediatrics at Hopkins School of Medicine, was a 2019 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Semenza received this honor alongside Dr. William G. Kaelin of Harvard and Dr. Peter J. Ratcliffe of Oxford. Kaelin completed his specialist training in Internal Medicine and Oncology at Hopkins.



Professors talk ethics of gene editing and Gattaca

We begin in the not too distant future, where perfection has pervaded the genome itself, elevating individuals into what seems like the best version of themselves. Children are edited to be brilliant, healthy and beautiful — as genetically ideal as possible. This is the world of Gattaca, a science fiction cult classic that remains significant in today’s bioethical conversations about genetic research. 


New study uses ferrets to model higher-level vision

A recent study by Hopkins researchers revealed that ferrets are well-suited for higher-level vision research. This was discovered in light of their performance when faced with behavioral tests that assessed the motion and form integration capacity of adult ferrets.



COURTESY OF LAURA WADSTEN
Students work on the HEMI inspired grain puzzle in MSE Library’s Q-level.

MICA students present their HEMI-inspired projects

A collaboration between the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI) and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) facilitates a fusion of engineering and art, in the hopes that it will produce new perspectives to address innovative subjects. Researchers at HEMI study materials under extreme conditions, such as intense heat, strong magnetic fields and explosions and design structures that could withstand those conditions.



COURTESY OF TANVI NARVEKAR
Students learned about different environmental groups on campus.

Student groups organize Sustainable Boba Bash

The Hopkins Student Organization for Programming (HOP) hosted Sustainable Boba Bash in the Mattin Center Courtyard on Friday. Students were invited to enjoy boba tea with a reusable metal straw while learning about different environmental causes.


Freshmen: Please explore non-pre-med options

Dear Freshmen,  You are now familiar enough with Hopkins to realize that we are literally in the land of pre-meds. You know what I’m talking about. They’re not rare; they live among us — they’re in our classes, they live in our buildings and they surround us at office hours. In fact, many of you reading this probably are one or thought about becoming one — those brave souls who are choosing to take the road less taken — to spend nearly a decade of early adulthood in school and take on one of the most admired professions out there.



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