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

Science & Technology

Firefighters put out a wildfire in Hidden Valley in 2013.

How the California fires led to red-tinted skies in Baltimore

The 2020 fire season on the West Coast has been reported to be the most disastrous of this decade. Wildfires stretching along California, Oregon and Washington have already killed over two dozen people, displaced thousands of individuals along the West Coast and burned over five million acres of land.  

The team tested their prototype with a CPR dummy to simulate aerosolization.

Undergraduates develop a memory foam attachment for CPAP machines

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, health-care professionals continue to face new challenges. In a time of need, some health-care professionals have suggested using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines in lieu of ventilators to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. However, one of the biggest concerns with placing an infected patient on this machine is the aerosolization of viral particles, which can infect others.  

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A camera captures an image of the ventilator screen and sends it to the operating tablet, which can be used to control the robot outside of patient rooms.

Hopkins researchers develop a robotic system to remotely control ventilators

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a surge of patients requiring mechanical ventilation in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) rooms. Consequently, the units now require increased staffing of trained respiratory therapists in addition to more ventilators. Every small change on a ventilator requires staff to enter a patient room, which risks potential exposure, and to frequently change personal protective equipment. 

A Hopkins study revealed several factors that might indicate why COVID-19 rates are higher for dialysis patients.

Hopkins finds dialysis patients at greater risk of COVID-19

Ben Bigelow, a fourth-year medical student, is part of a crew of health-care workers bringing coronavirus (COVID-19) testing to the community. He and his team began noticing a worrying trend at nursing homes — patients on dialysis in nursing homes contracted COVID-19 at higher rates. This highlighted the need to examine how the virus could be spreading in care facilities and how that transmission chain could be eliminated.

The Prodensity app has expanded upon its original goal of helping labs social distance. 

Prodensity app created through five-month collaboration

The Prodensity app was created through a collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Technology Innovation Center (TIC); Geraldine Seydoux, the vice dean for basic research at the School of Medicine; and George Economas, the executive director of security for Hopkins Medical Institutions.  


Although undergraduates can not participate in in-person research, there are still ways to get involved with remote opportunities.

Tips to secure remote research

Although undergraduates are not permitted to join in-person research projects, there are many opportunities for students, even freshmen, to achieve their research goals.

Researchers hope to understand the long-term mental effects of psilocybin, the hallucinatory component of “magic mushrooms.” 

Hopkins launches clinical trial for psilocybin mushrooms

According to a press release by EurekAlert, the Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research (CPCR) is partnering with Unlimited Sciences, a psychedelic research nonprofit, to conduct a new research study on the use of psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as "magic mushrooms," outside of the laboratory environment. The study, which was announced on August 12, hopes to survey people around the world to create a registry of information about psilocybin usage and resulting experiences.

The NOVID app uses ultrasound to accurately trace position without compromising anonymity. 

NOVID app makes contact tracing mobile

NOVID, an organization that branches off of the social enterprise Expii, was founded by Carnegie Mellon University mathematics professor Po-Shen Loh, who had made a moral commitment to apply his expertise to national emergencies. On March 14, he was called upon to help the nation during the pandemic. Using his expertise in network theory, Loh developed the NOVID app, a novel tool to help limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Loh announced the approval of the app on iOS and Android this May.  

Like several other institutions, the EPS department has decided not to require the GRE. 

Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences votes against GRE

Number two pencils. Calculator. Water bottle. Watch. This is the supply mantra running through the minds of thousands of students as they prepare to take standardized exams that can determine their next step in life. The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is one of many standardized exams used to consider applicants for graduate schools. Despite the decades-old reign of the GRE, its use in evaluating graduate school applicants has undergone scrutiny by many institutions, including the University’s own Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS) department until it decided to waived its GRE requirement on June 15th.

Decreased air quality in predominately Black and Latinx communities increases susceptibility to COVID-19.

We must prioritize environmental racism

When discussing racism, it is important to note how people of color have continuously been put in situations that compromise their health and wellness. Environmental racism is the discrimination or lack of concern toward people of color, particularly those in the Black, Latinx and Native American communities. Environmental justice is the movement that works toward diminishing those differences. 

Guiding documents suggest policies as states slowly re-open

As the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is steadily declining in some states, restrictions are slowly being lifted. President Donald Trump recently released a three phase approach called “Opening up America Again” for state governors to follow at their own discretion. 

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Labrique and other experts have increased their social media presence to combat misinformation.

Social media has been a blessing and a curse during the pandemic

Along with the continued increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases is the multiplying amount of information and coverage about the virus, a lot of which is through the form of social media. Some experts have used social media to propagate medical findings on COVID-19. On the forefront of this is Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has made appearances through various social media platforms.

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