Impact Summer 2020

Influencing the Influencers

Many of us resolutely think of ourselves as independent- minded beings, free to make personal choices. But in reality, much of our decision-making hinges on our social networks—the individuals we interact with, both in person and electronically.

Compound Interest

Most people see mosquitoes as a mere nuisance —or worse, a vehicle for disease. But Joelle Frechette instead found inspiration in these insects and has devised an elegant strategy for replicating their surprisingly sophisticated visual system.

Disinfected Water: Unintended Consequences

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, according to a team led by Carsten Prasse, an assistant professor of environmental health and engineering.

Flirting While Flying

Findings by Hopkins scientists about the aerodynamic and midair communication capabilities of mosquitoes’ wings could inform the design of quieter drones and new ways of combating mosquito-borne diseases.

Upstarts: Little Size/Big Impact

Delivering biological medicines directly to cells can maximize their effectiveness while minimizing side effects, says Jordan Green, professor of biomedical engineering.

Upstarts: Making Sense of the Data Deluge

The volume of patient data available to medical institutions —concerning everything from treatment and family health histories to allergies—is increasing exponentially.

Upstarts: Maximizing Catalysts’ Benefits

Heterogeneous catalysts are used in industry to transform raw materials into products, including gasoline and fertilizers, and to remove pollutants from automobile exhaust.

Inspiration from Slithering Snakes

By studying how snakes slither up trees, rocks, and shrubbery, a team of Johns Hopkins engineers has created a snake robot that can nimbly and stably climb large steps.

Tech Tools: Defect-Free Solar Cells

Susanna Thon’s lab used a new tool to find and classify defects in solar cells, allowing researchers to target and eventually fix specific types of defects.