Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 19, 2020

Science & Technology



Freshmen: Please explore non-pre-med options

Dear Freshmen,  You are now familiar enough with Hopkins to realize that we are literally in the land of pre-meds. You know what I’m talking about. They’re not rare; they live among us — they’re in our classes, they live in our buildings and they surround us at office hours. In fact, many of you reading this probably are one or thought about becoming one — those brave souls who are choosing to take the road less taken — to spend nearly a decade of early adulthood in school and take on one of the most admired professions out there.




EDA INCEKARA / PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR
The Goucher and the Cohen Mummies are displayed at the Archaeological Museum.

Archaeological Museum images ancient mummies

Stepping into the Hopkins Archaeological Museum, located in the heart of Gilman Hall, your eyes are sure to settle on two individuals: the Goucher Mummy and the Cohen Mummy. How can we understand the identity and humanity of these two ancient women? Beginning in 2016 and completed in 2018, Who Am I? Remembering the Dead Through Facial Reconstruction is an exhibition that aims to answer this question, telling the story of two ancient Egyptian mummies through scientific imaging technologies.


MSE exhibit showcases extreme materials as art

A new installation on display at Hopkins challenges the boundary between science and art. Jenna Frye, the creator of the exhibit Symmetry and Fracture, is a full-time faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and artist in residence at the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute (HEMI). 


 COURTESY OF CYNTHIA MOSS
The ‘Bat Lab’ studies how sensory information guides flight navigation.

Lab Spotlight: “Bat Lab” studies bat echolocation

Cynthia Moss is a Hopkins professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Mechanical Engineering. Her research is centralized in a place fondly known as the “Bat Lab,” where she aims to better understand how bat brains interpret the world around them using echolocation. 


Professor Calder studies capitalism and Islam

Broadly, Ryan Calder, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, researches the relationship between religion and capitalism.  “For much of the history of human civilization, for the many people who considered themselves religious — their religious beliefs have affected the way they act in markets,” he said. “Some sociologists, very famous ones, believed in the 19th and 20th centuries that as economies modernize, religion should play less and less of a role in economic activity.” 


Trump proposes a ban on flavored e-cigarettes

The Trump administration’s proposal to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarette products has once again put the issue of tobacco use back in the spotlight. The announcement followed reports of a vaping-related illness that has affected more than 400 people around the country. 



The U.S. President is a science and tech influencer

The American President isn’t usually the first person that comes to mind when you think of major influencers in the scientific community. Yet, the nature of the position means that they actually have a lot of impact on various areas within the STEM field, including the environment, funding for research and space exploration. To really understand what a president can do to science and tech, we must look to the past.


MED panel discusses ethics of gene editing

The student organization Medical Ethics Discussion Panel (MED Panel) held a discussion about the ethics of gene editing on Monday. The discussion is the first in a series of monthly events organized by MED Panel. 



Courtesy of Jacqueline Vargas
Baltimore students demonstrated outside of City Hall to bring attention to the climate crisis.

Students strike to demand environmental action in Baltimore

The recent work of 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has inspired waves of renewed interest in climate change in both younger and older populations. On Friday, Sept. 20, a series of school walk-outs were staged across the world in an act of protest demanding that governments take action against climate change.


Public Domain
Researchers show that it is possible to induce yeast cells to produce more energy than before.

Researchers give energy production in cells a boost

Biology is founded on a few main theories: cell theory, that all life is made up of cells and all cells on Earth come from previous cells; gene theory, that traits are passed down to offspring through genetic material; and evolutionary theory, that heritable characteristics change in populations due to natural selection. 


COURTESY OF EDA INCEKARA
The GIS includes information about every tree on Homewood Campus.

Groundskeeping at Homewood uses advanced tech

The outdoor spaces of the University’s nearly 140-acre Homewood Campus are maintained by a team of 15 groundskeepers, overseen by Grounds Manager John Beauchamp. Together, they care for everything from the flower beds and hedges, to the quads and small forested areas, and even the brick sidewalks, one of the unique landscape features established after a donation to Hopkins Grounds Services nearly two decades ago. 


Organic vegetables and fruits are a marketing ploy

The appeal of organic food is rooted in the common misconception that equates natural production with ethical production. For me, organic food is simply a marketing ploy to convince consumers to purchase more expensive food.


COURTESY OF PREETHI KALIAPPAN 
Hopkins students engaged in sustainability activities before the school year began.

Blue Jays go green for a sustainable Hopkins

Sustainability is an important measure to stop the progression of negative changes to the environment, since it looks to protect the natural environment of the Earth and the health of its inhabitants. Many members of the Hopkins community are particularly passionate and active about this issue. 


Public domain
Mouse models are often used to approximate human medical responses.

EPA funds research for alternatives to animal testing

Animal models, especially mice, are customarily used to study disease pathology, but it is a somewhat controversial practice in terms of cost, ethical aspects and predictivity for humans. The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) in the Bloomberg School of Public Health is a part of the effort to move away from vertebrate medical research. To that end, they recently received a grant of almost $850,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).



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