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Latest Yale University Stories

Wing Bling: Flashier Is Better For Female Butterflies
2012-06-11 14:21:23

If female butterflies are programmed to identify males of their species by the patterns of spots on their wings, how can new wing patterns evolve in males? The answer is that while females are predisposed to prefer a specific pattern, they learn to like flashier ones more, according to a new Yale University study. The study published online the week of June 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives a partial explanation of an evolutionary mystery. Biologists...

2012-06-01 11:28:36

Changes to just three genetic letters among billions led to evolution and development of the mammalian motor sensory network, and laid the groundwork for the defining characteristics of the human brain, Yale University researchers report. This networks provides the direct synaptic connections between the multi-layered neocortex in the human brain responsible for emotions, perception, and cognition and the neural centers of the brain that make fine motor skills possible. A description of...

2012-05-23 17:08:34

Environmental change is the selective force that preserves adaptive traits in organisms and is a primary driver of evolution. However, it is less well known that evolutionary change in organisms also trigger fundamental changes in the environment. Yale University researchers found a prime example of this evolutionary feedback loop in a few lakes in Connecticut, where dams built 300 years ago in Colonial times trapped a fish called the alewife. In a study published May 23 in the journal...

2012-05-22 21:47:44

Patient care nationwide may be affected when research on medications contain only 'good news' — especially when the research is industry-funded When thousands of psychiatrists attend their field's largest annual meeting each year, the presentations they hear about research into drug treatments report overwhelmingly on positive results. That's the finding of a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology by two young psychiatrists from the University of...

2012-05-10 22:50:08

A recently evolved pattern of gene activity in the language and decision-making centers of the human brain is missing in a disorder associated with autism and learning disabilities, a new study by Yale University researchers shows. "This is the cost of being human," said Nenad Sestan, associate professor of neurobiology, researcher at Yale's Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, and senior author of the paper. "The same evolutionary mechanisms that may have gifted our species with amazing...

2012-05-10 14:08:09

Hospitals that perform expensive, invasive cardiovascular procedures on a disproportionate number of patients are more costly for all heart failure patients, including those treated with noninvasive methods, according to a new Yale study. Most heart failure patients are cared for without the use of invasive procedures like cardiac catheterization, notes the study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes; but the rates of invasive procedures used for heart failure...

New Research Links Gene Mutations To Autism
2012-04-05 05:04:52

Researchers reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday that about 15 percent of autism cases in families with a single autistic child are associated with spontaneous mutations that occur in six cells. Several papers published in the April 4 issue of the journal show how gene mutations may contribute to the development of autism. For the studies, the researchers sequenced the DNA of about 1,000 families, each of which had an autistic child. The gene mutations identified in the study...

2012-03-29 09:12:30

A person´s mere presence in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour – material largely left behind by previous occupants and stirred up from the floor – according to new research by Yale University engineers. “We live in this microbial soup, and a big ingredient is our own microorganisms,” said Jordan Peccia, associate professor of environmental engineering at Yale and the principal investigator of a study recently published online in the...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'