Science & Technology


Transparent soil makes buried plants viewable

October 4, 2012

Have you ever wished that you could see what was going on with a plant both from above and below the surface? Scientists at the James Hutton Institute in Dundee, Scotland solved this problem in an innovative manner by making transparent soil.


Dark matter used to assess universe expansion

October 4, 2012

A group of international scientists have captured their first images of distant galaxies using the world’s most powerful digital camera, a crucial first step towards understanding the reason for the accelerated expansion of the universe.


Difficulty with smelling linked to psychopathy

October 4, 2012

Ever wonder if there’s a good way to identify psychopaths? A recent study by scientists from Macquarie University in Australia suggests that those with psychopathic traits may also have an impaired sense of smell.


Randomness in hospital shootings dismissed

October 4, 2012

Every hospital shooting is broadly covered by mass media. The public horror and disgust associated with each shooting begs the question: Why hospitals? As places of healing, hospitals are considered to be a refuge for those who are ill or injured.


$7.4 million grant to benefit STEM education

September 28, 2012

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Hopkins a five-year, $7.4 million grant to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in Baltimore City schools through a partnership with the community that was announced on Tuesday. “Science and engineering are not collections of facts, they are human endeavors. As such, they involve many people coming together and collaborating to solve a problem or learn about our world,” Michael Falk, Associate Professor of Materials Science in the Whiting School of Engineering and principal investigator for STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES), wrote in an email to The News-Letter.


Professor awarded prize in cosmology

September 27, 2012

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) team, led by Charles L. Bennett, a professor in Hopkins’s Physics and Astronomy Department, was recently awarded the 2012 Gruber Cosmology Prize. The award was presented in recognition of their contributions to the Standard Cosmological Model, which helped transform the field of cosmology from “appealing scenario into precise science.”


Doctors speak about medical mindsets

September 27, 2012

On September 20, Drs. Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband of Harvard Medical School presented a talk titled “Your Medical Mind: How to Decide What Is Right for You” as part of the Conversations in Medicine Symposium, and discussed their recently published book of the same name. The husband and wife duo described how people’s different mindsets affect their actions when faced with a medical dilemma. The student-organized talk was a hosted by Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-medical Honor Society (AED) and the Women’s Pre-Health Leadership Society (WPHLS).


Parts of bee genome affect behavior

September 27, 2012

As most people know, the basic component that determines how an organism develops is its genome — the complete DNA sequence that can be decoded into proteins, which ultimately make up the organism.


Animal Antics: New tracking methods could help save turtles

September 27, 2012

While sharks and piranhas have a history of terrorizing the silver screen, their Testudines friends are adored by fans everywhere. The fame (or infamy) of characters like Bowser from the “Mario” series and protagonists of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” are signs that turtles have successfully invaded popular culture. Unfortunately, the reality of turtle life is a rather harsh one; many species, such as the loggerhead sea turtle, are struggling to stay off the extinct species list.


Professor awarded for finds in genetics

September 20, 2012

Hopkins added another decoration to its faculty’s ranks with Dr. Donald Brown’s receipt of the prestigious Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science. Brown, an adjunct professor in the department of biology since 1969, won the award for his work in genetics. He was also acknowledged for his role mentoring young scientists. Tom Maniatis of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics department at Columbia University was also recognized.


“Faststitch” designed for surgical suturing

September 20, 2012

Hopkins students have developed a plier-like device that can expedite and improve suturing, the method of sewing closed a patient’s operating site at the end of surgery. Daniel Peng, a senior Biomedical Engineering major, explained that significant complications can arise from the 4.5 million open abdominal surgeries performed each year.


Nanoparticle study improves drug delivery to the brain

September 20, 2012

In recent years, the technology of nanoparticles has become a fascinating area of research for scientists. Nanoparticles are defined as anything 100 nanometers or less, and they have incredible potential for medical uses due to their small size and unique properties.


Animal Antics: Pit viper females found to give virgin births

September 20, 2012

Why is childbirth in humans such an agonizing and difficult process? The answer, as you might expect, lies in our evolutionary history. David K. Jordan, professor of anthropology at the University of California San Diego, believes that the human pelvis, and mammalian pelvises in general, has been shaped by competing evolutionary forces.