Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
July 3, 2020

Science & Technology

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. 

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.

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).

Public domain
In 1967, the APL captured the first color photo of the earth from space.

APL took first color photo of the earth 52 years ago

Since it marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, 2019 has prompted many to look back on the journey to explore what lies beyond planet Earth. Since the dawn of space exploration, our University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been a pioneer of engineering innovative space missions. One of the many feats it has accomplished involved producing the first color image of the full earth on Sept. 20, 1967 — two years before the moon landing.

The BMMB Lab studies the thermodynamics of biological membranes.

Dialogues in research: Professor Kalina Hristova

Perhaps one would not consider a biological cell membrane a material that can be engineered. But for Kalina Hristova, it is.  Hristova is a professor of materials science and engineering. Broadly, materials scientists research interactions between molecules and study how those interactions contribute to the efficacy of a structure. 

 Public Domain
The new psychedelic center will be the first of its kind in the U.S.

New psychedelic research center to open at Hopkins Bayview campus

Hopkins Medicine is launching a new center to study psychedelics, the first institution of its kind in the U.S. and one of only a few around the world investigating these types of compounds. The new Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, announced on Sept. 4, will support research focusing on the effects of psychedelic drugs on the brain and mental disorders. 

Public Domain
Angappan’s interests are broadly focused on the interior of planets.

Graduate student awarded FINESST grant from NASA

On Aug. 6, Hopkins graduate student Regupathi Angappan was awarded the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) grant — a big grant fitting a big project like his. Angappan’s research uses the incredibly weak and “noisy” magnetic field of Mercury to help reveal the planet’s interior structure. 

New student organization reaches for the stars

One of the newest student groups on the Hopkins campus, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is a club meant to promote student interest in space and provide networking opportunities, project experience and career exploration in any discipline of the field.

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