Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 30, 2023

Science & Technology

Animal Antics: Drunken elephants rampage Indian cities

Since the 1990s, Indian pachyderms have made the news for their supposedly drunken behaviors. In 1999, a herd of elephants rampaged through the village of Assam, killing four people and injuring six others. The causes, according to the papers, were habitat loss and a few casks of rice beer.

Tuberculosis protein structure defined

Researchers in the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry at the Hopkins School of Medicine have discovered the structure of a protein integral to the drug resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections. This information can provide essential insight into drug design that would inhibit the function of this protein and hopefully increase treatment successes.

Del Monte speaks on future of health care

Health Leads, an organization led by college students to connect low-income families to health insurance, food and shelter, invited Mark Del Monte, the lead attorney for the American Academy of Pediatrics, to speak about the possible implications Obama’s reelection will have on the state of healthcare in the U.S.

Webster report pushes for gun policy reforms

Prompted by the mass shootings in Aurora, Colo. and Oak Creek, Wis. this summer and by concern over how the media represented the events, researchers at the Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research have published a report discussing public opinion of gun control and policies that could be pursued to decrease gun violence.

Easter Island statues may have “walked”

Despite the lack of modern instruments capable of lifting heavy objects, the Rapa Nui people of what we now call Easter Island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean somehow managed to move mammoth stone statues weighing about 4.35 tons.

Findings suggest neurological basis of obesity

As the world gravitates toward the two polar extremes of body weight — obesity and anorexia — scientists struggle to determine the underlying biological causes, hoping to find effective treatments to combat these disorders.

1,000 Genomes Project reaches milestone

This month marked the first phase culmination of “The 1,000 Genomes Project,” an extensive five-year study that sought to determine the gene sequences of 1,092 individuals. The project’s well-represented research team comprised of about 400 researchers from around the world including Aravinda Chakravarti, a member of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at the Hopkins School of Medicine.

Physics Briefs

Laser lights and computers can see past some barriers

Cope’s Law: Could dinosaurs have been bigger?

You may have heard of island gigantism, an interesting phenomenon in which small animals that migrate to islands tend to grow significantly larger. However, Cope’s Rule, which was proposed by an American paleontologist Edward Cope in the late 19th century, takes the “bigger is better” perspective a few steps further.

ADHD drugs prescribed to failing students

Imagine the elementary school student who tries his best, who does her homework, who stays out of trouble. The one who still has to come home to parents with a lousy report card because of an inadequate schooling environment.

New planet found near Earth’s solar system

History was made when a team of astronomers based in Geneva recently discovered a new planet orbiting Alpha Centauri B, a star that is the galactic equivalent of a saunter from BLC to the library away from us.  The new planet was — not too creatively — named Alpha Centauri Bb.  This is not only the most recently discovered planet, but also the closest planet to our solar system ever discovered.

Mosquito proteins function like antibodies

Our immune systems rely on antibodies to target pathogens like malaria parasites through their ability to recognize specific proteins and other tell-tale molecules. Mosquitoes, however, do not have these antibodies and rely instead on a recently-discovered gene.

Retina swelling shows brain damage

The retina is a tissue lining the inner wall of the eye. The sensory cells, namely the rods and cones, of the retina pick up electrical signals from when the light hits the eyes, thereby allowing us to see the world.

Beneficial mold added to crops

Although agriculture may no longer be on the minds of Americans as much as it was in the 1800s, its importance in the American economy cannot be ignored. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the value of commercial vegetables in the United States last year was $12,820,274, while the value of field crops came out to $171,393,620,000. Not a small sum at all.

Sandy forwarns future storm strength

Hurricane Sandy is the largest recorded Atlantic hurricane in diameter. It started as a tropical wave in the Caribbean on Oct. 22, and then became a tropical depression. This means that groups of thunderstorms have organized and that there is very low pressure, especially in the center of these storms. Six hours after it became a tropical depression, it was upgraded to a tropical storm, defined as a storm with winds from 39-73 mph. It has also become organized enough to start to look like the pictures of hurricanes we see on The Weather Channel. It was upgraded to a hurricane on Oct. 24, right before it hit Jamaica. It went back into the water and built up strength, upgrading to a Category 2 hurricane before striking Cuba on Oct. 25. A Category 2 hurricane, with winds from 96-110 mph, can cause a lot of damage, especially to objects and buildings that aren’t firmly rooted in the ground. It weakened to Category 1 (74-95 mph) and then became a tropical storm on Oct. 27, but quickly moved back to hurricane status. It hit the United States on Oct. 29 at around 8 p.m., slightly south of Atlantic City N.J. It was declared a post-tropical cyclone around 7 p.m., which means that the storm system became colder and connected with cold-weather fronts.

Nitrogen may be new eco-friendly fuel for cars

If you’re lucky and your hometown is Los Angeles, you may have seen the crimson-colored, Honda FCX Clarity or silver Mercedes-Bentz F-cell station wagons on the street as owners drive by smugly, feeling great that the only emission coming out of their car is water.

Sports bra uses temperature to detect breast cancer

Breast cancer will affect one in eight American women during their lifetime and 39,510 women will die from the disease this year alone, according to data released by the National Cancer Institute. These statistics have created a race to develop an effective screening method for breast cancer.

JHU alum steered shuttle Endeavor to L.A.

We all know that Hopkins alumni include a president of the U.S and a mayor of NYC, but who would have expected that one of our alums would end up snagging a space shuttle?  After a nearly 20 year career, the Space Shuttle Endeavour recently completed its journey to its new home at the California Science Center (CSC) in Los Angeles.  Hopkins alum Ken Phillips, Curator for Aerospace Science at CSC, was instrumental in bringing the shuttle to Southern California.

Shah discusses international public health work

Busy making an impact on the world, Maunank Shah, an assistant professor at the Hopkins School of Medicine, gave a public health lecture this past Monday. Lambda Epsilon Mu hosted Shah’s lecture, “Infectious Disease Control: Bridging the gap between clinical care, research, public health, and health policy,” in Charles Commons.