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

Science & Technology




Hopkins fails to reawaken dormant HIV virus

From the perspective of medication, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the most dangerous when it’s asleep. While active subsets of the virus can be destroyed with antiretroviral agents, dormant viral particles can accumulate within the T cells of the immune system without detection. These dormant particles significantly compromise the T cells’ abilities to recognize and destroy infectious cells in the body. With dormant strains of HIV, the T cell is about as effective as shampooing your hair with dirt.


Pluripotency article retracted from Nature

In January, Haruko Obokata of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology surprised and excited the world with her publication of stimulus-triggered fate conversion of somatic cells into pluripotency. In the publication, Obokata presented results of the first successful trial of inducing pluripotency, the ability to become a variety of cell types, in adult somatic stem cells by using sublethal doses of acid. If other scientists could reproduce her results, this research would make pluripotent cells easily obtainable for developmental research and disease therapy.


Untrained volunteers can burden relief efforts

saster, it is heartwarming to see an army of volunteers trying to help victims recover. These volunteers do a significant amount of work: They clear debris from roads, move food and other supplies to accessible areas and offer words of kindness in moments of despair. Many of them, such as those working for the Red Cross, are specifically trained for their tasks. Some, however, arrive on the scene without any preparation. A recent study suggests that these untrained volunteers may not be as helpful in disaster situations as we would like to believe. In fact, because these untrained volunteers often act spontaneously, they might even harm the relief efforts.


Hopkins undergraduates build novel genome

It is certainly more difficult to make foods from scratch than to purchase their ready-to-eat counterparts. Creating pancake batter and then grilling them to the perfect golden-brown requires a lot more effort than popping a couple of frozen pancakes in the toaster. Squeezing fresh oranges to make orange juice takes more energy than pouring a glass of orange juice from concentrate.


Austism diagnosis rate is increasing drastically

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has become an epidemiological challenge in recent years. This is partially due to the greater awareness of this disease and, subsequently, the increased probability of its being diagnosed in borderline cases. However, some of the clinical challenges associated with autism are due to its ever broadening definition.


FarmLogs app provides agricultural data access

It’s official: There is now an app for everything. That’s what you may think when you discover FarmLogs, a new app specifically targeted to farmers. This unconventional creation was founded by high-school friends Jesse Vollmar and Brad Koch.


Hopkins discovers protein to fight virus

Researchers at Hopkins have identified a protein that helps control cytomegalovirus (CMV). This virus, which may seem unrecognizable from its name, causes one of the most common viral infections among humans. In fact, the CMV infection is so common that there is a 50 to 80 percent chance that you will have it by the time you are 40 years old.


Student proposes font change, saves millions

Whether you already have your own printer or plan to get one once you move out of on-campus housing, you are likely to face the harsh reality of outrageous ink prices in the near future. Black and white and color ink cartridges cost a pretty penny and can sometimes exceed the price of a printer itself.


Hopkins study correlates age with alcoholic drink preference

Walk around the periphery of the Hopkins campus on any Friday or Saturday night, and you are likely to see flocks of underclassmen scurrying into one of many fraternity houses. For most of these students, their mission upon arriving at their destination is simple: obtain and consume alcohol.


Students host annual AIDS Awareness Banquet

AIDS Alliance, Hopkins’ AIDS awareness club on campus, held an annual banquet not only to satisfy the Indian food cravings of students all around, but also to raise awareness about AIDS in the Baltimore community. This past Friday, in one of the Charles Commons ballrooms, club president and senior Bryan Kohrs assembled his team to put together an unforgettable and educational banquet. At the banquet, the club emphasized the prevalence of AIDS in our local community.


Bloomberg discovers link between ADHD, obesity

The diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is on the rise in the U.S. From 2003 to 2011, the rate of ADHD diagnosis increased approximately 5 percent per year. Today, ADHD medication, often in the form of stimulants, is the second-most prescribed medication for children. A recent study by researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health has found a link between the stimulants prescribed for ADHD and childhood obesity.


Gravitational waves point to birth of universe

Less than 14 billion years ago, a hot and dense mass known as the initial singularity burst into the entire universe that we live in today. In less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, this mass expanded a distance of 45 billion light years, unfurling faster than the speed of light. While this event is commonly taught in academic classes, the notion of rapid expansion has all just been theory. No direct evidence linked this expansion to the Big Bang. However, some game changing evidence may have entered the field.


MRI side-effects uncover vertigo diagnostic

Magnetism is the attractive force between positive and negative charges. In our everyday lives, we see it as what makes souvenirs stick on refrigerators and compasses magically point north or south. In reality, the effects of magnetism go much further. The natural magnetism created by our planet’s iron core protects the Earth from charged particles released from the sun.


Hopkins studies DNA link to the epigenome

Genetic studies are indispensable tools for developing a comprehensive understanding of diseases, particularly cancer and psychiatric illnesses. Many investigators compare the genetic backgrounds of healthy and sick populations to identify the proclivity of specific factors in the genome to certain diseases.


Data mining used to improve disaster response

Citizens of the rural town of Oso, Wash. were greeted by tragedy on Mar. 23 as a waterlogged hillside gave way and unleashed a tsunami-like wave of earth, destroying dozens of homes residing in the river valley below.


Mugshots to be created from crime scene DNA

While they are not yet the cinematic experience of Minority Report, crime scene investigations are becoming more and more like sci-fi crime dramas. Researchers from Erasmus University in the Netherlands, the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and Pennsylvania State University stateside have identified genetic determinants of facial structure. With these markers, the collaborators believe it will be possible to reconstruct criminal facial shapes from DNA evidence alone.


Hopkins analyzes ‘viral’ tweets to track flu

Have you ever tweeted about having the flu? While such a message will certainly gain sympathy from friends and family, it may be even more useful than you think. New research is attempting to use Twitter to track the flu throughout the country.


Physicists look to harvest energy from outer space

Physicists at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have proposed a method to harvest energy from Earth’s infrared emissions. Because our planet is warm, especially compared to the cold void of space, physicists believe a significant amount of energy is transferred at the border between Earth and space. These particular physicists think that it may be possible to take advantage of this transfer and harvest the energy for our own use.