Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
February 21, 2024

Science & Technology

Appetites are modulated by tanycytes

Debating whether or not to eat that warm and soft chocolate chip cookie can be tough: succumb to desire or avoid the extra calories? Despite the time wasted over the decision, cravings usually trump other considerations. However, there may finally be a way to suppress such cravings. Led by Mohammad K. Hajihosseini from the University of East Anglia’s School of Biological Sciences, researchers have identified stem cells that have the potential to control appetite.

Doppler effect changes time perception

With the sci-fi prospect of a time machine comes the inevitable question: can we go back in time? But how do we know traveling to the past is in fact going back? This is because humans perceive time as one-directional. We think time only moves forward and nothing in the past can be changed or experienced again. Surprisingly, the common perception of time as having a direction has been confirmed by physicists. Furthermore, physicists discovered that our perception of time changes depending on when an event occurred. The distortion in our perception of time is named the temporal Doppler Effect.

Nurses learn medicine through simulations

The hospital is more than just the place where your grandmother gets her annual heart checkup or where lung transplants are performed. Cases that go in and out are very multifaceted, from bad splinters to limbs falling off and medical professionals are expected to be able to react to all situations. This includes talking to family members whose child was struck by lightning or helping a mass of patients in the emergency room who were victimized by a roof collapse in their building. At the Simulation Center at the School of Nursing, students experience real-life situations as part of their curriculum, so that future nurses will be equipped with not only the medical knowledge for their job, but also appropriate mentality and responsiveness as well.

Meteorite phosphates may have powered life

Could it be that the missing link between geology and biology has been discovered? Just ask Terry Kee, a reader at the University of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. In his most recent study in the University’s chemistry department, Kee researches how non-living rock essentially converted into the building blocks of life.

Ice caps of Quelccaya melt at an alarming rate

A new discovery in Peru has given scientists a greater reason to be concerned about global warming. Part of the Quelccaya ice cap in the Peruvian Andes, which took 1,600 years to form, has almost completely melted over the past 25 years. The find was made by a team of Ohio State glaciologists, led by Lonnie G. Thompson, a professor in their School of Earth Sciences.

Superior student cancer research proposals awarded

Expectations don’t come much higher than they do when it comes to curing cancer. Philanthropist John G. Rangos Sr. fuels that audacious hope with the bold claim that Hopkins will surely be the first to cure cancer. On the strength of his conviction, Mr Rangos thus created the Rangos Award for Creativity in Cancer Discovery, which was presented to finalists Jason Howard, Ashwin Ram, Hogan Tang, Sylvie Stacy and Xiaochuan Yang on April 3.

Scientists improve cancer immunotherapy

We train dogs to do tricks for a treat and we train our children to behave well and get good grades in school. With the help of recent developments in biomedical research, we can also train white blood cells to specifically look for and kill only cancer cells.

SciTech Talk: Laziness, artificial leaves and bacteria

For the lazy students at Hopkins: For those plagued by constant laziness during school, you are in for a scientific treat. Thanks to recent findings, you may be able to blame your regular indolences on your DNA! A study on mice has shown that laziness can actually be a genetic predisposition. Researchers bred a group of active and lazy mice and monitored the activity of subsequent generations by measuring their running distances. There was a clear difference in running activity between the 10th generation mice that belonged in the active group and those in the lazy group. Through a technique called RNA deep sequencing, the scientists were able to find 36 prospective genes that may be involved in laziness. But even so, try not to let laziness hinder your studies!

Animal Antics: Danger of animals over-exaggerated by media, contributes to conservation issues

Would you rather save a savage shark or an adorable panda? If you have watched Jaws or Piranha 3D, then you would probably pick the latter. Too often, the media over-sensationalizes animal appearances and behaviors for the sake of entertainment. While the cutesy birds and bunnies get to co-star with Disney princesses, the vicious and hideous critters are stuck playing the villain. These stereotypes stem from our tendency to reject what we perceive as dangerous, foreign or unsightly. In reality, these so-called monstrous creatures are important members of our ecosystems.

BMEs engineer life-saving cooling device

Hopkins undergraduate biomedical engineering design teams never cease to amaze with their innovative and practical medical inventions. Past teams have devised devices such as CervoCheck, a labor monitoring device for pregnant women. This time, a BME design team has wowed the Hopkins community once again by inventing a novel device called the “Cooling Cure,” which could potentially save the lives of millions of newborn babies with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE).

Evidence of Higgs boson discovered

For the past few months, particle physicists have been very cautious about calling the newly discovered particle, found at the Large Hadron Collider, a “Higgs-like” particle. The Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is the largest particle collider on earth, made to smash protons together at velocities near the speed of light in order to learn more about the fundamental particles that describe the universe. The reason that this new particle has been called a “Higgs-like” particle is, simply, that we aren’t entirely sure that it is actually “the Higgs boson” predicted by the Standard Model.

Coverage of shootings affects views of mental illness

Gun-related tragedies have left names that previously referred only to locations on a map with unshakable, secondary meanings. Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and, most recently, Newtown lost their cartographic anonymity when shootings catapulted them into the headlines. As Americans struggle to come to terms with the mass-shootings of the past decade, the two most prominent questions in the national consciousness — “how?” closely followed by “why?” — have complicated the social and political fallout surrounding gun-control policies in unforeseen ways.

Reduced resident hours prove harmful

Doctor of Medicine: the career respected throughout the world and contended for by thousands of students in the U.S. every year, just got easier to endure. After a tough four years of undergraduate studies and an even more grueling medical school education, students are finally exposed to the real medical world under the guidance of other physicians during their residency. In 2011, the residency hour requirements shifted from intensive 30-hour shift limits to more agreeable 16-hour shifts.

Peaches may provide new biofuel

Mothers constantly remind their children that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, assuring that eating fruits and vegetables is important for having a healthy lifestyle. However, recent discoveries have shown that crops such as fruits may serve as much more than just a daily source of vitamins. On top of providing nutritious supplements, fruits have been recently found to be an excellent source for fuel.