Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 26, 2024

Science & Technology



MIT optimizes cochlear implants for the deaf

The cochlear implant is a truly miraculous piece of technology. While drugs can alleviate various medical conditions, the cochlear implant can restore a fully missing sense to the deaf. Such devices for sight may be some time away, but the cochlear implant is an incredible device that has brought new perspective to the hard of hearing.


Hopkins apps prepare hospitals for disasters

When disaster strikes, we expect hospitals and first-response units to react quickly and efficiently. This is a pretty lofty expectation. How do hospitals prepare for emergencies, knowing that lives will be on the line? The answer may soon be, “With the help of Johns Hopkins!”


Yeast are ready shoulder the energy crisis burden

Any amateur baker is familiar with the importance of yeast. This microorganism, which eats sugars and produces carbon dioxide as a byproduct in the process, leavens bread. However, the power of yeast extends far beyond bread-making. Researchers under Hal Alper, an assistant professor in Cockrell School of Engineering of The University of Texas at Austin, have managed to create a new yeast strain that can create enormous amounts of lipid from simple sugars. These lipids can be converted into fuel, potentially alleviating the approaching oil shortage.



Japanese researchers rewind the fate of tissues in stem cell breakthrough

Embryonic stem cells. My mom told me not to treat them like playthings and Bush told me not to use them in my research. Scientifically, embryonic stem cells are the holy grail of developmental biology. These cells are pluripotent, meaning they can adopt any cell type present in an adult organism. This unrestricted potential allows scientists to test developmental processes in ways completely impossible with differentiated cells. Moreover, embryonic stem cells have important medical implications, as they can be used in regenerative medicine.


Is technology running our lives?

As I do on most mornings, I lay in my bed with my iPhone locked into portrait view so I can go aimlessly through all my social media apps and maybe even read some light-hearted news without lifting my head.



Russian men fail to medal in drinking restraint

Soviet Russia jokes aside, a recent study demonstrated that the consumption of vodka severely decreases Russian lifespans. Nearly a quarter of Russian men die before the age of 55. Most of these deaths can be attributed to acute alcohol poisoning, liver disease or alcohol-related external conditions, such as suicide, alcohol-related accidents and violence while intoxicated.


Ancient poems found in time for Valentine’s

For better or for worse, Valentine’s Day resonates with all of us. Some use the day for inspiration, searching for that special someone. Others attempt to forget the romantic day’s existence altogether. A select few turn to literature, hunting for poems that will arouse tender feelings in others.


Poppin' diet pop won't cause the pounds to drop

To avoid the guilt of downing a regular soda, dieters often grab a diet brand when searching for something to drink. They have less sugar and fewer calories. Therefore, they must be okay for a weight loss regimen.


Entrepreneurs invent a watch with no time

Take a look at your watch or phone and notice the time. How much time has passed since you last thought about schoolwork, or about your crush? It’s probably hard to pinpoint exactly how long its been since either of these. Maybe you’ve actually been vacantly staring out the window without realizing how much time has passed.


Hopkins team investigates oxygen deprivation

A newborn baby can suffer from oxygen deprivation for reasons including a blocked airway and a long or difficult delivery, but no matter the cause, this oxygen deprivation can lead to numerous grave problems, such as impaired mobility or cerebral palsy. Interestingly, these problems seem to preferentially arise in males, as male children have a harder time recovering from oxygen deprivation than female children do.


Social status determined by genetics

Imagine a corporation in which the CEO expresses one set of genes and assembly line workers express a completely different set of genes. All employees are born with the same genetic composition, but the genes they express determine their labor role, status in the corporation and quality of life. If the CEO passes away, assembly line workers can adapt to express the “CEO-specific genes” in hopes of assuming the role of CEO.



Acoustic circulator stops sound reversal

When Baltimore residents think of a circulator, their minds probably jump to buses moving through the Inner Harbor. When Austin residents think of a circulator, they may think of something a bit more high tech. Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin recently developed an acoustic circulator that acts like one-way glass for sound.


Epilespy drug may fight obesity-linked disease

Obesity levels in the United States have steadily increased in recent years. Public media has drawn attention to the growth of this condition often describing obesity as a national epidemic. Medically, obesity is classified as a condition in which an individual’s body mass index (BMI), a quantity calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of the height, exceeds 30. Obesity increases the probability of developing other conditions including cancer and fatty liver disease. While some of these obesity-linked ailments are incurable, researchers at Hopkins have found a drug that can combat one of them. The Hopkins research team discovered that a common medicine for epilepsy can be used to alleviate fatty liver disease.


Benefits of consuming cow milk are highly overrated

“Buy six gallons of milk, get the seventh free!” A massive banner draped across the refrigerated aisle promotes the bone-building qualities of a hearty glass of American-made milk. If you think these advertisements are a bit excessive for one grocery store trip you’d be in agreement with Walter Willet, a Harvard University nutritionist who’s got a bone to pick with the dairy industry.


Campfires served as social hubs for early humans

Picture yourself as a human 300,000 years ago. You are huddled inside a cave with friends, and there is a hunting party around a burning hearth. As you cut up the afternoon’s catch with a newly crafted stone tool, you chat — in whatever communication methods available — about your day. You lean over and whisper to your neighbor about the herd of deer you saw earlier roaming the mountains where you normally hunt. Your friend then suggests to the group that you all fight away the other people threatening to take your hunting spot.


Changing climate is killing baby penguins

It is not large mammals nor hungry creatures that stand as the Magellanic penguin’s biggest predator: It is climate change. A recent study conducted by Dee Boersma at the University of Washington claims that changing weather patterns are threatening the chicks of this penguin species.