Leaks from the lab

Cancer center to study role of peer-to-peer services

Dr. David Sells, assistant professor of psychology and a member of the Yale Cancer Center, has received a grant to study the benefits of one-to-one peer-based services to patients newly diagnosed with cancer. Dr. Sells has researched the benefits of such services in psychiatry — where it encourages patients to eat better, exercise more regularly and spend more time with loved ones — and he believes that a similar model can be applied to cancer. The study will match 24 participants — 12 recently diagnosed with cancer, and the other 12 three months out of treatment for cancer — with past cancer survivors, who will provide physical and emotional support to aid their recovery.

Facial movements affect perceptions of sound

Yale researchers have found that the way in which facial muscles around an individual’s mouth are positioned and stretched contributes the way in which he or she perceives and hears sounds. The research team, led by Takayuki Ito, a senior scientist at Yale-affiliated Haskins Laboratory, used a device to stretch the skin around participants’ mouths in various ways and examined its relationship to the sounds participants heard. For instance, listeners were played a computer-generated continuum between “head” and “had.” The study found that, when their skin was stretched upward, they perceived the sound to be “head,” while, with a downward stretch, it sounded like “had.” The timing of stretching also had an effect on perception.

Aspirin protects against liver damage

Yale research suggests that aspirin may prevent the side-effects of common drugs, such as alcohol, that impact the liver. The study, published in the Jan. 26 edition of Journal of Clinical Investigation, shows that injecting aspirin into mice reduces the probability of mortality resulting from an overdose of Tylenol. The study also documented the similarities between aspirin and molecules called TLR antagonists, which blocks receptors that incite inflammation. Hence, the scientists postulate that aspirin can be used to treat liver damage in a similar way, by reducing inflammation.

Study will investigate impact of air pollution on newborns

The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has been awarded a nearly $3 million grant to study the effects of air pollution on newborns. The five-year study will examine whether a woman’s exposure to air pollution during pregnancy affects the health of her unborn child, such its birth weight and the likelihood of its pre-term delivery. While women take many health precautions during pregnancy, they cannot usually control environmental factors like air pollution, Michelle Belle, associate professor of environmental health at the environment school and co-principal investigator of the study, said in a recent environment school press release.


  • JanetBaker

    ” I don’t need to convince most of my friends and classmates that the descent of a post-Communist country plagued by a history of anti-Semitism and anti-Roma prejudice into neo-fascism is a very bad thing indeed.”

    The new Hungarian government was elected with a greater majority than most of ours. Every credible analyst I have read does not view the re-arrangement of the judicial to be anything more than a way to get the older members to retire, and given your quote, since they have been ‘plagued by a history of anti-Semitism and anti-Roma prejudice,’ your friends and classmates would see that getting rid of the old guard (by retirement, not a gulag, by the way) might be a sensible step toward undoing that history.

    Democracy is not set in concrete. We elected a man four years ago expecting great and necessary change here. That did not happen because, besides his own personal inadequacies, our own democracy has grid-locked itself, and there has been no progress of any kind whatsoever to help the suffering working people. Hungary is trying to find a way to avoid the paralysis and do something to actually help! By the way, giving woman a legal back-up to say no to abortion is just fine by me, because I know how our present system is being used to brutalize women into abortion. We need such a law here! Hungary will also help its own internal market with this step, as well as with protecting and encouraging marriage and family. We should do the same, and I hope many will come forward to tell your friends and classmates the true version of Hungary’s step forward.

    Besides the poverty of data you offered to back up your claim that democracy is on the line in this discussion, and not what you think people should be allowed to do with theirs, Hungary is most certainly still a republic, as article 2 of the new constitution proudly says. The government structure outlined in the constitution is that of a republic. Do you know what a republic is, and have you read the constitution?