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

Science & Technology



High-protein diets look more harmful than not

A few years ago, it seemed that everyone was talking about the Atkins diet, a low-carb and high-protein approach to losing weight. Protein was touted as the dieter’s holy grail: It would lead to weight loss while still maintaining muscle mass. The Atkins diet was even voted one of the best diets of 2014 by U.S. News and World Report. New scientific data, however, could make high protein diets a thing of the past.


Daylight savings had energy-conserving roots

As spring progresses, the sun rises earlier and earlier each day. With the hassle of adjusting our clocks and the arbitrary changes in our sleep schedules, most of us have probably, at one time or another, wondered about the origin of daylight savings time.



Drug reactivates silenced genes

Researchers at Hopkins have discovered a set of genes that are turned off by cancer cells in their attempt to hide from the immune system. These genes were discovered by treating breast, colorectal and ovarian cancer cell lines with the FDA-approved drug 5-azacitidine. This drug, which reactivates silenced genes, exposed 16 different immune system related pathways that have decreased expression in cancer cells. Such decreased expression allows cancer cells to more easily invade tissues.


Wearable technologies progresses

Demand for new electronic devices from the smartphone and tablet industry has recently simmered somewhat. Their markets are saturated. The newest processors or razor sharp displays aren’t as enticing as they once were, as last year’s models often hold up against the new competition. Some electronic companies have shifted focus to the low-end market, but their budget-friendly products are not flagship devices. To show their technological prowess and re-excite consumers, manufacturers have found a new focus for their industry in 2014: smartwatches.


Facebook looks to link the world with drones

Internet use has become such a ubiquitous part of everyday life, it is hard to imagine living permanently disconnected from the World Wide Web. Even when our eyes aren’t glued to a screen, our mobile devices are set to pull emails, Facebook statuses, instant messages, sports scores or breaking news at a minute’s notice. The internet, particularly through social media, has forged a kind of global community. It is easy to forget that the majority of the world, approximately 65 percent, is not plugged in.


Scientists track primate evolution via RNAs

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was the human brain. The intricate organ was crafted over millions of years before it developed into the functionally sophisticated masterpiece it is today. Just like the numerous workers who toiled in the hot Mediterranean sun to construct the roads, buildings and aqueducts of Rome, countless different biological components labored for years to construct the neurons, lobes and synapses of the human brain. One class of these biological laborers is microRNAs.


Toothy tumor discovered in brain

Inherent in its Latin root tumere, meaning “to swell,” a tumor describes an abnormal growth of cells. It is a bodily excess, something indispensible, often necessarily, for proper bodily functions. This modern conception of tumorous growths leaves no room for functional structures in the abnormal mass. Imagine the surprise, then, when a team of doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital found fully grown teeth in the brain tumor of a four-month-old child.


Homophobic prejudices reduce lifespan

As today’s world continues to have an increase in expected human lifespan, there may be something holding society back: homosexual prejudice. Recent studies have indicated that there exists a direct correlation between anti-gay stigma and shortened lifespans. The study suggests that the shortened lifespan can affect both those who hold the prejudice and those towards whom the prejudice is directed.


How could a Boeing 777 simply vanish?

Mystery, intrigue and concern shroud Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as officials scramble to uncover the missing plane. Such a strange occurrence raises the obvious question: How does a 200-plus passenger jet simply vanish in the first place?


Taxonomy is revamped in DNA-based system

In 1735, Carl Linneaus proposed a system for naming organisms in his publication Systema Naturae. This system, called Linnaean taxonomy, has proven robust as it is still used today, nearly 300 years after its original proposal. In this taxonomy, each organism is divided into one of three kingdoms, then further classified into different classes, orders, families, genera and species.


NASA discovers 715 new planets

Since the first discoveries of planets beyond Earth and our solar system, the human imagination has been fascinated by the idea of extraterrestrial life. In recent years, astronomers spurred by the possibility of finding planetary environments conducive to life have overlooked the seemingly simple task of identifying and confirming new candidates.


CarPlay brings Siri into travel

Just when you thought that Apple couldn’t become more ubiquitous, the company has released a new device that will be on the market soon. However, it won’t be available through its regular market; the new Apple product will find its way to mainstream consumers through the Geneva Motor Show this week. Apple is coming out with a new car infotainment system that will be fully integrated with iPhone capabilities.


Hopkins uses immune cells to battle cancer

Cancer is no longer restricted to just our bodies. The disease has invaded headlines, pages of books, scientific studies and the public consciousness. Fortunately, however, this non-physiological growth can certainly spark scientific collaborations to fight the bodily form of cancer.


Hopkins study challenges food regulation agencies

Agricultural regulatory agencies, the governmental organizations that oversee food production and research, are regulated themselves by the red tape of bureaucracy. A study from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) discovered that, under current circumstances, industrial food animal production (IFAP) regulatory agencies are not able to do their jobs effectively.


Insomniacs possess higher neuronal plasticity

Think back to the last time you had trouble sleeping. Remember how you felt lying in bed awake, gazing into a dark room until your clock finally told you to start a new day. Now, imagine having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep every night.


44-year-old “stone baby” found in elderly woman

Pregnancy is one of the most strangely beautiful mysteries of life. In slightly less than a year, a tiny new person is fashioned through a laborious, yet gratifying algorithm of biology. But what if pregnancy lasted longer, say several decades, and never even produced a viable offspring?


Music and language are not created equal

Like language, the composition of music involves combining separate elements into structured and meaningful sequences. An example is the musical exercise of “trading fours.” This time-honored tradition among jazz musicians describes a pattern in which two solo musicians alternate playing four measures each, usually after each person has played a solo. Beginner musicians, especially drummers who are inexperienced in playing jazz, often find this exercise difficult. It is a skill that is only learned after much practice and determination.


Adhesive designed from gecko toes

In our increasingly environmentally conscious society, consumers often opt for reusable versions of frequently used items such as shopping bags or water bottles. Unfortunately, reusable varieties are not available for all items. For example, tape, one of the most commonly used supplies, does not come in a reusable strain. At least not yet.