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

Science & Technology





China's pollution affects the American West Coast

The cool, playful sea breezes on the sunny beaches of California may be more menacing than they seem. A study published this month by the Proceedings of the National Academy of  Sciences found that China is exporting its pollution across the Pacific Ocean and onto American soil. The study, conducted by nine scientists from Britain, China and the United States, attempted to identify the environmental consequences of interconnected economies.  Specifically, the researchers wanted to investigate how American air quality is affected by the demand for goods produced in China.


Amnesia patient's brain sliced into 2,401 pieces

Researchers at The Brain Observatory in San Diego have embarked on a quest to help illuminate the meaning of a mysterious language engraved within a 2,401-page book. The inscriptions are those of neuroscience and the pages are brain slices. Two-thousand four-hundred and one slices of brain.


Tsamsa virus neutralizes threat of anthrax spores

During the 2001 anthrax attacks, bioterrorists used deadly anthrax spores in postal letters to threaten U.S citizens and political figures, including two senators. Ultimately, 22 people were infected and five died. Despite the implementation of biohazard checkpoints, anthrax continues to be a threat to our country, as the spores can be cultivated with minimal equipment and education. However, some researchers at the University of California, Davis may have some good news for countering this form of bioterrorism. In the corpse of a Nimibian zebra, the researchers serendipitously found a certain virus that can kill the anthrax bacteria.


Your eye movements can betray impatience

You’re waiting in an unbearably long line. You tap your feet and check you watch - over and over again. Your body posture and movement convey your restlessness to all nearby observers. But are your eye movements giving away your impatience as well?


Copycat friends may boost your performance

We are social animals. Our social surroundings shape us in more ways than one. Those we choose or unwittingly allow in our “cognitive neighborhood” can have tremendous effects on our health, mentality and even personality development. Cognitive scientists at Indiana University investigating social learning have unearthed yet another one of these social triggers, and it might catch you off guard.


Pirates support the advent of 'Glass'

Walk down any street and you are likely to see packs of pedestrians glued to smartphone screens. Sit down at any restaurant and you are likely to see droves of diners sacrificing interaction with their neighbors to focus on their smartphones. Nowadays, you would think carrying a smartphone is as essential as wearing a shirt and a pair of pants. In fact, this level of attachment may necessitate an invention that allows people to wear their smartphones as accessories.


Why do men have super schnozes?

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa found that, relative to body size, men’s noses are on average 10 percent larger than women’s.


Wormhole possibilities: quantum entanglement explained

Ever taken a course in quantum physics? If not, you probably at least know that there’s something inherently complex about the field that manages to perplex even today’s greatest scientists. Einstein admitted that some parts of quantum physics are pretty “spooky.” Well, something spooky may actually be occurring in the universe this very instant: the formation of a wormhole. It turns out, according to some physicists at University of Washington and Stony Brook University in New York, that this wormhole may be forming through something called quantum entanglement.



Quantum systems leap towards longer lifespans

Ones and zeros are the most relevant numbers for anyone using a computer, cellphone, modern cable . . . the list goes on. In the modern world, the binary code has become nearly synonymous with computing. However, this may change in the near future. Quantum computing may soon burst into the scene, as it is inching out of the foggy realm of theory into a world of mainstream usage.


Smallest FM radio will revolutionize cell phones

In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore observed that as electronic devices such as cell phones and cameras decreased in size, their processing power and memory capability grew exponentially. His conjecture, which soon became known as “Moore’s Law,” has become one of the driving forces behind technological advancement. Over the past few decades, scientists and inventors have continually defied the limits of technology. We are all too accustomed to ultra-thin cell phones and super fast computers, the likes of which our grandparents and maybe even parents never could have imagined.


Google Android continues to have problems with lagging user interface

Since the introduction of Android, there have always been particularly high expectations for Google’s popular operating system to deliver one of the best mobile phone experiences. Google offers an unique open-source platform that allows manufacturers and to a lesser extent, users, to customize their phones’ software. With frequent, and sometimes rather extensive, updates, Google has made sure that Android always continues to stay a modern and convenient platform.



Why did Snapchat turn down $3 billion?

How much could a company that makes zero operating profit be worth? Over $3 billion in cash, Facebook would tell you. Earlier this week, the social networking website offered to buy Snapchat, a company recently popularized by its photo sharing app for that sum of money — and Snapchat turned it down. This certainly raises another pertinent question: How is Snapchat worth anything?


Insects fossilized in the middle of having sex

About 165 million years ago a pair of froghoppers’ mating ritual was rudely interrupted by a volcanic eruption. Fortunately the wind blew these two love bugs into a lake where time and the weight of sediment were able to preserve their passionate moment.


Bioethics Corner: 'Despicable' Gru talks morals

Universal Pictures brings back Gru (Steve Carell) and his enjoyable minions in the animated summer sequel to the hit movie Despicable Me. An enjoyable film for all ages, Despicable Me 2 portrays Gru as an amicable animated character who has given up his past life as a super villain in favor of becoming a stressed-out single father for his three adopted children. In this movie Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League (AVL) to stop an evil plot and save the world. The main story line focuses on Gru identifying and capturing the villain. There is also an interesting sub-plot, where Gru finds love with fellow AVL agent Lucy (Kristin Wiig).


Ants prioritize in decision-making

Making decisions is hard. Making collective decisions is harder. Think about how hard it would be to decide where to buy a house. Then think about how hard it would be to decide where to buy a house with several hundred roommates. As unmanageable as that sounds a new study shows that ant colonies are able to do just that.