Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 24, 2020

Science & Technology

Animal Antics: Danger of animals over-exaggerated by media, contributes to conservation issues

Would you rather save a savage shark or an adorable panda? If you have watched Jaws or Piranha 3D, then you would probably pick the latter. Too often, the media over-sensationalizes animal appearances and behaviors for the sake of entertainment. While the cutesy birds and bunnies get to co-star with Disney princesses, the vicious and hideous critters are stuck playing the villain. These stereotypes stem from our tendency to reject what we perceive as dangerous, foreign or unsightly. In reality, these so-called monstrous creatures are important members of our ecosystems.

BMEs engineer life-saving cooling device

Hopkins undergraduate biomedical engineering design teams never cease to amaze with their innovative and practical medical inventions. Past teams have devised devices such as CervoCheck, a labor monitoring device for pregnant women. This time, a BME design team has wowed the Hopkins community once again by inventing a novel device called the “Cooling Cure,” which could potentially save the lives of millions of newborn babies with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE).

Evidence of Higgs boson discovered

For the past few months, particle physicists have been very cautious about calling the newly discovered particle, found at the Large Hadron Collider, a “Higgs-like” particle. The Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is the largest particle collider on earth, made to smash protons together at velocities near the speed of light in order to learn more about the fundamental particles that describe the universe. The reason that this new particle has been called a “Higgs-like” particle is, simply, that we aren’t entirely sure that it is actually “the Higgs boson” predicted by the Standard Model.

Coverage of shootings affects views of mental illness

Gun-related tragedies have left names that previously referred only to locations on a map with unshakable, secondary meanings. Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and, most recently, Newtown lost their cartographic anonymity when shootings catapulted them into the headlines. As Americans struggle to come to terms with the mass-shootings of the past decade, the two most prominent questions in the national consciousness — “how?” closely followed by “why?” — have complicated the social and political fallout surrounding gun-control policies in unforeseen ways.

Reduced resident hours prove harmful

Doctor of Medicine: the career respected throughout the world and contended for by thousands of students in the U.S. every year, just got easier to endure. After a tough four years of undergraduate studies and an even more grueling medical school education, students are finally exposed to the real medical world under the guidance of other physicians during their residency. In 2011, the residency hour requirements shifted from intensive 30-hour shift limits to more agreeable 16-hour shifts.

Peaches may provide new biofuel

Mothers constantly remind their children that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, assuring that eating fruits and vegetables is important for having a healthy lifestyle. However, recent discoveries have shown that crops such as fruits may serve as much more than just a daily source of vitamins. On top of providing nutritious supplements, fruits have been recently found to be an excellent source for fuel.

Facebook targets ads to very specific users

In October 2012, Facebook hit a new milestone yet again, announcing that it had reached one billion users. Even after overlooking the thousands of fake or duplicate accounts, this announcement meant that nearly one out of every seven people on Earth has made Facebook a part of their daily life.

Stem cells from fat may target brain cancer

Before you pack away the pounds in time for bikini weather, you might want to take a moment to thank your fat, for it may someday save your life. A new study found that stem cells derived from fat can be just as effective as stem cells derived from bone marrow in targeting and destroying cancer cells. And it’s not just any cancer, but the most common and aggressive human brain tumor — glioblastoma.

Birds relied on four wings instead of two

The blue jay, Hopkins’s school mascot, is named after and commonly known for the impressive blue color of its feathers. However, what may be more impressive than having two beautiful wings is having four of them.

Donor exchange raises transplant rates

Organ transplants are some of the most complex medical procedures imaginable, especially those that involve a chain of numerous donors. Kidney paired donation, or KPD, is one form of chain strategy and a recent Hopkins study shows that greater use of this exchange mechanism would help more patients receive transplants.

Database expedites diagnoses of rare diseases

As the field of genetics has burgeoned in the past decade with new gene analyzing technologies, it seems as though we are discovering new genes every day that are responsible for diseases like Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. With the massive amount of genetic data studied each day, it has become difficult for various gene labs to collaborate and organize new genetic information in a coherent manner.

Gas emissions will decrease by 2050

With every purchase of a Toyota Prius or discovery of a new alloy or element that could be used for efficient engine design, our world has been gradually compensating for the vast pollution we have built up over generations. The United States, which is the second-largest emitter of carbon dioxide behind China, lists the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as one of the greater challenges that we face, as our economy has relied on fossil fuels as a central form of energy production since the Industrial Revolution.

Bond found on white dwarf stars

When I was young, I was particularly fond of cars. However, where I’m from, people are not supposed to drive at the age of five. As a compromise, I was given a model car. Although not completely satisfied, I had to settle with the miniature version of what I wanted.

Two rats communicate with brain signals

If you have ever stared at a cage of rats, wondering what they are saying to each other as they squeak nonsensically, you may be interested in a few rats that were recently shown to able to communicate with each other through brain-brain connections with the help of prosthetics.

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