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Latest Yale University Stories

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2011-08-05 11:47:54

The need for fresh water is expanding every day and over one-third of the world's population currently inhabit areas struggling to keep up with the demand for water. Researchers estimate that by 2025, that number will nearly double. Digging deeper or pumping water from further upstream in the water table is only a short-term solution that often leads to disputes between countries and water conservation and reuse projects have only limited effectiveness. A new study from Yale University and...

2011-07-28 01:00:04

Yale University researchers can't tell you where you left your car keys- but they can tell you why you can't find them. A new study published July 27 in the journal Nature shows the neural networks in the brains of the middle-aged and elderly have weaker connections and fire less robustly than in youthful ones, Intriguingly, the research suggests that this condition is reversible. "Age-related cognitive deficits can have a serious impact on our lives in the Information Age as people often...

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2011-07-13 10:40:00

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The debate whether dinosaurs went extinct due to a large space rock that struck the Earth 65.5 million years ago (MYA) may have been answered with the discovery of a distinctive brow horn from a Ceratopsian dinosaur just 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) below the K-T boundary -- the distinct layer of geological sediments separating the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods. Rocks laid down 65.5 MYA show a thin layer abundant in rare elements...

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2011-06-24 07:37:59

The brilliant colors of birds have inspired poets and nature lovers, but researchers at Yale University and the University of Cambridge say these existing hues represent only a fraction of what birds are capable of seeing. The findings based on study of the avian visual system, reported in the June 23 issue of the journal Behavioral Ecology, show that over millions of years of evolution plumage colors went from dull to bright as birds gradually acquired the ability to create newer pigments...

2011-06-22 22:43:37

New studies illuminate brain's complex neurotransmission machinery, point to potential source of problems leading to neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions Two studies featuring research from Weill Cornell Medical College have uncovered surprising details about the complex process that leads to the flow of neurotransmitters between brain neurons -- a dance of chemical messages so delicate that missteps often lead to neurological dysfunction. A recent Nature Neuroscience study led by Dr....

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2011-06-21 13:29:27

Astronomers have probed into the distant universe and discovered that galaxies display one of two distinct behaviors: they are either awake or asleep, actively forming stars or are not forming any new stars at all. Scientists have known for several years that galaxies in the nearby universe seem to fall into one of these two states. But a new survey of the distant universe shows that even very young galaxies as far away as 12 billion light years are either awake or asleep as well, meaning...

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2011-06-15 12:55:00

NASA said on Wednesday that astronomers have found the first evidence that black holes were common in the early universe. The new discovery shows that very young black holes grew more aggressively than previously thought and in tandem with the growth of their host galaxies.  NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was used to help make this discovery. NASA said by pointing Chandra to a patch of sky for more than six weeks, astronomers obtained the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS).  When...

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2011-06-13 07:10:00

Combining lights and statistics may yield high-resolution global economic data The glow of lights in a city at night means different things to different people. For some, the amazing hues along Broadway, the Las Vegas Strip or the Sunset Strip in Hollywood mean a fun night out. For an economist, these dazzling lights signify people's pockets are flush with cash; and in fact, a new study confirms it. Research by William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University and...

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2011-06-11 09:10:00

Yale University economist says microfinance yields surprising results Small loans, somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 to $500 dollars, are an increasingly popular weapon in the fight to reduce poverty. Called microcredit, institutions dole out these monetary advances to help extremely poor people engage in successful entrepreneurship and improve their quality of life. While proponents extol its virtues, researchers look for evidence; they want to know if it works. Does it really increase...

2011-06-09 23:42:23

Microcredit, which involves giving small loans to very small businesses in an effort to promote entrepreneurship, has been widely touted as a way to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. A multitude of both non- and for-profit institutions are spending billions of dollars each year on microcredit ventures in developing nations around the globe. But just how effective is microcredit lending? In a new study, researchers find that the practice may not be an efficient tool in promoting...