Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
April 21, 2024

Science & Technology



STEPHEN MICHAEL BARNETT / CC BY 2.0
Mattoon highlights some of the science news of the past week. 

Science news in review: March 12

Hang on, Blue Jays, it’s almost spring break! Between your photoshoots under the cherry blossoms or your last-minute vacation preparations, check out the latest updates in the science world. 



TONY WEBSTER / CC BY 2.0
A nationwide Adderall shortage is adversely affecting people living with ADHD.

Looking into the ADHD medication shortage

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a nationwide shortage of Adderall, a medication for attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in October 2022. Even now, the shortage persists, and the scarcity has even begun to affect the availability of alternatives to Adderall.


COURTESY OF BLMIERS2 / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Narvekar discusses the environmental risks of a proposed oil project in Alaska. 

Why the Willow Project will be harmful to the environment

Recently, President Biden has come under criticism for considering support for the Willow Project, a $6 billion new oil and gas drilling project that would take place in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. The Willow Project is led by ConocoPhillips, self-proclaimed as “Alaska’s largest oil producer.”



JOEL KOWSKY / PUBLIC DOMAIN
Following a postponed launch, four astronauts aboard the SpaceX Crew-6 arrived at the International Space Station on March 3.

Science news in review: March 5

This week, we'll take a closer look at some of the most exciting scientific developments and technology updates. From space explorations to the genome of grapes, this week has it all.



RYAN HODNETT / CC BY-SA 4.0
Scientists have discovered that Fomes fomentarius, commonly referred to as hoof fungus, has a unique microstructure that makes it stronger than most plastics. 

Science news in review: Feb. 27

As we reach the end of February, let’s recap some of the biggest headlines of the week. This week featured some big discoveries about a new layer of the Earth, fungal plants replacing common building materials, surprising massive early galaxies and advances in quantum computing.


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH / CC BY-NC 2.0
Sickle cell disease, an inherited disorder that interferes with red blood cells, may be linked to increased maternal mortality. 

Sickle cell disease found to be linked to maternal mortality

Macy Early, Dr. Lydia Pecker and other researchers at Hopkins recently found a higher risk for severe maternal mortality (SMM) among patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) than those without. The study also identified a racial disparity; Black SCD patients had a 10% higher SMM. Their results were published in Jama Network Open.


WOODLEYWONDERWORKS /  CC BY 2.0
Pre-med students are recommended to participate in several categories of extracurriculars to prepare them for medical school.

Project MD 2027: Which extracurricular makes you look better?

Shihua Chen had a polished answer ready when asked why she wanted to be a doctor in an interview with The News-Letter. After all, she had already prepared for her medical school interviews this past fall. Chen first explained how her father’s doctorate in chemistry encouraged her love of science when she was young, but she became interested in the human mind and behavior as she got older. 


JEAN-ETIENNE MINDH-DUY POIRRIER / CC BY-SA 2.0
10 Hopkins affiliates were recently named among the 2023 class of American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows.

10 Hopkins professors named AAAS fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society and publisher of Science, recently named 505 AAAS Fellows to the 2022 class. Among them, 10 Hopkins professors were elected. The AAAS Fellowship has been awarded annually since 1874 and recognizes scientific and social achievements in advancing the field of science.


PUBLIC DOMAIN /  CC0 1.0
Though the Coronavirus Research Center is ceasing its operations on March 10, the data from the past three years will remain freely accessible online.

Coronavirus Research Center will cease data collection after three years

After three years of round-the-clock work, the Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center (CRC) announced that it will no longer collect and report data on the COVID-19 pandemic on March 10. This decision comes after consistent declines in state-level pandemic data reporting and the federal government’s increased data capabilities.


JEANNE MENJOULET /  CC BY-ND 2.0
Narvekar discusses ineffective methods of climate activism.

What does productive climate activism look like?

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union Address, noting that there is a still lot more to do for climate change reform. Looking at this remark as a climate change columnist, I recognize there has been some headway in climate change reform, but it seems that President Biden glossed over properly discussing the issue of climate change.


ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research have advanced acoustic levitation technology, devising methods to control microscopic objects in three dimensions.

Science news in review: Feb. 19

Valentine’s Day may have come and gone but our love of science is as strong as ever. Some of this week’s greatest discoveries include two unique animals, ant-like robots and breakthroughs in the use of acoustic levitation.


COURTESY OF MIKE MAC MARKETING /  CC BY 2.0

Science news in review: Feb. 16

Though upcoming midterms might seem overwhelming, it doesn’t hurt to take five minutes to look at the cutting-edge updates in science and technology. This week, the latest research includes Google’s plan for a new artificial intelligence (AI), a discovery of a new type of ice and an innovative way to study mosquitoes.  



ARGONNE NATIONAL LABORATORY / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Many proteins have complex, convoluted folding patterns. 

Some secrets of aging could be explained by protein folding

Stephen Fried, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, and his lab recently identified a cohort of proteins in Escherichia coli (E. coli) that cannot refold even in the presence of molecular chaperones, which recognize and undo folding mistakes. Their results, which may have applications in studying aging, were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


L. HUSTAK, J. OLMSTED (STSCI) / CC-BY-2.0
The APL team’s recent findings bring researchers closer to determining the existence of extraterrestrial life.

APL team uses James Webb Space Telescope to detect Earth-like planet

Just more than a year after its launch, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has confirmed the existence of its first exoplanet, discovered by a team of astronomers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). The Earth-sized planet, LHS 475 b, orbits a red dwarf star approximately 41 light years from Earth in the constellation Octans.


BRIAN GRATWICKE / CC BY 2.0
In the news this week, scientists from the University of Cincinnati recently discovered a species of “spiny-throated” reed frog that only communicates using touch. 

Science news in review: Feb. 5

While the weather outside is frightful, the warmth of scientific discovery is delightful. This past week has seen various new developments, from novel vaccine technologies to the effect of language learning in polyglots. Take a look at these fascinating discoveries as you read our first print issue of the semester.


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