Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 4, 2022

Science & Technology



COURTESY OF JAMI VALENTINE MILLER
Being the only Black woman pursuing a PhD in physics at Hopkins led Miller to create African American Women in Physics, Inc.

Barrier-breaking physics alum reflects on her journey

“All science is either physics or stamp collecting.” According to Jami Valentin Miller, this quote — attributed to Ernest Rutherford, the father of nuclear physics — encapsulates the elitist mindset of many physicists. In 2006, Miller became the first Black woman to receive her PhD in physics at Hopkins. The fact that it took so long for Hopkins to grant a PhD in physics to a Black woman, she said, reflects the elitism that permeates the field.




ROSIE JANG/CARTOON EDITOR
The burgeoning technique can detect viruses in the environment. 

Researchers use new test to understand environmental phages

In the field of microbial ecology, a positive virus test isn’t always a bad thing. Of course, the viruses in most ecological studies aren’t the kind infecting humans or making headlines every night. Rather, scientists like Eric Sakowski are interested in the distribution and impact of bacteriophages, or viruses that infect bacteria. 


LAKSHAY SOOD/LAYOUT EDITOR
Hopkins experts described how the severity of the winter storms took the Electric Reliability Council of Texas  by surprise.

Why did the Texas power grids fail?

Recently, Texas faced its coldest weather in more than 70 years and concurrently experienced state-wide utilities failure. When temperatures in Texas dropped lower than temperatures in Alaska, more than 4.5 million homes and businesses lost their power and at least 70 people lost their lives.




ROSIE JANG/CARTOONS EDITOR
Columnist Jessica Kasamoto suggests reading beyond headlines and listening to multiple viewpoints.

Suggestions to be a smart consumer of science news

Among all the changes to our lifestyle recently, one of the more subtle ones is that many of us are reading the science portion of the news a lot more. PhDs in biology, virology and immunology have amassed thousands of followers on Twitter. Scientists have made headlines over tweets, interviews and press conferences — an ability previously reserved by singers, actors, politicians and other influencers. 




LAKSHAY SOOD/LAYOUT EDITOR 
Though not the first time that Texas has received snow, the conditions were a bit abnormal.  

How did climate change cause the Texas snowstorm?

2021 has brought some surprises, and one of those surprises is the terrible snowstorm in Texas. Although there have been such conditions in the past, this storm hit hard, leading me to think about climate change’s role in the extremity of the storm. Did climate change make the snowfall worse?


COURTESY OF BEN STRAUS
Over 200,000 students follow Ben Straus’ STEM mentorship channel. 

Hopkins senior uses TikTok to mentor STEM students

TikTok has rapidly increased in popularity since 2019 — especially during COVID-19 lockdowns. Just like many other people, Ben Straus, a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering, saw the app as a place to watch and make funny videos.


COURTESY OF SABRINA EPSTEIN 
The dashboard provides prioritization information from multiple states. 

Hopkins launches a vaccine tracker for people with disabilities

In a collaborative effort between the Hopkins Disability Health Research Center and the Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (CDHPD), the COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Dashboard was recently launched to help people with disabilities and underlying conditions determine whether they are eligible for vaccination in their home state. 




LAKSHAY SOOD/LAYOUT EDITOR 
Executive Director Odis Johnson of the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools remarked that the foray into virtual learning will profoundly affect how future students receive their education. 

The plan to reopen schools is a balancing act

Sammy and Louie Proctor are two middle school brothers attending Roland Park Elementary Middle School. While they do not miss the commute or the homework load of in-person learning, they both agree that online learning does have its own unappealing aspects. 


LAKSHAY SOOD/LAYOUT EDITOR
Bumpus wrote in a recently published article that dosage recommendations are largely based on trials with individuals of European backgrounds.

Hopkins pharmacologist calls for diversifying clinical trials

As the pandemic looms on, social justice advocates are urging more pharmaceutical companies to consider race and ethnicity when developing and testing drugs. One of these advocates is Namandje Bumpus, director of the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences at the School of Medicine. 


COURTESY OF ALEXIS HAMMOND
COVID-19 has exacerbated existing mental health issues within the Black community.

Stigma is rife in the treatment of mental illness in the Black community

The Black Faculty and Staff Association (BFSA) invited Dr. Alexis Hammond, associate medical director at the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy/Addiction Treatment Services, to highlight inequities in healthcare and destigmatize mental illness among the Black community. The BFSA hosted the event on Feb. 18 as part of the organization’s celebration of Black History Month. 



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