Hopkins added another decoration to its faculty’s ranks with Dr. Donald Brown’s receipt of the prestigious Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science. Brown, an adjunct professor in the department of biology since 1969, won the award for his work in genetics. He was also acknowledged for his role mentoring young scientists. Tom Maniatis of the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics department at Columbia University was also recognized.
Hopkins students have developed a plier-like device that can expedite and improve suturing, the method of sewing closed a patient’s operating site at the end of surgery. Daniel Peng, a senior Biomedical Engineering major, explained that significant complications can arise from the 4.5 million open abdominal surgeries performed each year.
In recent years, the technology of nanoparticles has become a fascinating area of research for scientists. Nanoparticles are defined as anything 100 nanometers or less, and they have incredible potential for medical uses due to their small size and unique properties.
Why is childbirth in humans such an agonizing and difficult process? The answer, as you might expect, lies in our evolutionary history. David K. Jordan, professor of anthropology at the University of California San Diego, believes that the human pelvis, and mammalian pelvises in general, has been shaped by competing evolutionary forces.
Our sense of smell is one of our most important capabilities as humans. Beyond how we normally define it, smell also plays into our sense of taste and affects our appetite. But what happens when a person suffers from anosmia, the loss of smell, due to a genetic disorder, degenerative disease, or trauma? Can the sense be restored?
Hydrogen fuel cells can power cars and other vehicles, but generating power from water has some challenges. Platinum is too expensive to use as a catalyst for the reaction, and until recently, the mechanism of the cheaper cobalt-based catalysts remained a mystery.
Rumors about the new iPhone 5 seemed endless for the past couple years. After Apple lovers got past the disappointment brought on by the release of the iPhone 4S in place of the iPhone 5 last year, their imagination and excitement about the magical iPhone 5 only heightened. Fortunately, Apple seems to have lived up to the expectations with the recent unveiling of the iPhone 5.
Sea otters are known for their impressive swimming abilities, and of course, being really cute. A recent study, however, shows that they also have the ability to fight global warming. Sea otters eat sea urchins, which means that there are fewer sea urchins to eat kelp, allowing the kelp population to flourish and absorb 12 times more carbon dioxide than it would without the sea otters.
Just two days ago, conservation scientists released a list of the world’s 100 most endangered animals during a presentation at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea. Compiled by more than 8,000 scientists affiliated with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), this list includes species that are very likely to go extinct if nothing is done to protect them.
The daily glucose check has long been a pain, quite literally, for many diabetics. Fortunately, researchers from the Frauhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems recently engineered a biosensor that can take non-invasive blood sugar measurements using sweat or tears instead of blood. Manufacturing these devices is cost-efficient, making them ideal for mass production.
In order to glean information about Earth’s climate history, scientists can analyze ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica’s ice caps. Similarly, Mars’ past climate can be determined by examining its ice caps. Using this technique, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen have put together the first dated account of climate history for Mars. Their findings show that the variations in Mars’ climate are linked to solar insolation, which is a measure of solar radiation energy.
Pediatric oncology patients are at uniquely high risk of developing dangerous infections. “Any time a kid gets an infection, it is a failure,” said Michael Rinke, a Hopkins professor of pediatrics in the Division of Quality and Safety and lead investigator on a new study that deals with preventing central line infections in these patients.
Scientists in South Korea have finally taken note of a drastic change due to be made in their country's high school biology textbooks thanks to a report in Nature that got their attention. In response to the efforts of the Society for Textbook Revise (STR, Engrish strikes again), Korean scientists have banded together to petition their government to reconsider the decision made by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
An artist's rendition of the GEMS X-ray telescope. Courtesy of www.nasa.gov
I’ll admit to being one of the die-hard lunatics at the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows premiere, covered in wizard savvy accessories including an upside-down wooden spoon doubling as a wand. With all of the quizzical stares I endured that night, I could have seriously used Harry’s invisibility cloak.