Leaks from the lab

Yale students work toward carbon neutrality in Costa Rica

A group of 12 young leaders, including Yale graduate students, have developed a report on the feasibility of the Costa Rican president’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2021, and have also drafted a road map toward achieving the goal. The report states that technological changes must be coupled with behavioral changes for the goal to be realized. Costa Rica emits roughly 0.02 percent of global greenhouse gases.

Scientists peer at membrane proteins

New research from the Yale School of Medicine has made inroads into visualizing the intricate machinery inside human body cells. Scientists have visualized the proteins contained in the cellular membrane — traditionally challenging to observe — using a technique called single-particle reconstruction. The technique helps scientists image individual protein molecules in an electron microscope, and uses the combined effect of thousands of images to create a three-dimensional model of the protein. Their work, which marks the first time this reconstruction technique has been used for membrane proteins, is published in the Aug. 30 edition of Nature’s advance online publication.

New hybrid system improves efficiency

Computer scientists at Yale have developed a new open-source hybrid system, called Hadoop DB, that combines two traditional approaches to data management. The first system, called parallel database management systems, allows the analysis of large amounts of data, while the second, used by Google to search Web data, gives the user greater control over which data is retrieved. The new system combines both to reduce the time it takes to perform certain computer tasks from days to hours, enabling more complex and efficient data analysis, and can be used for a variety of tasks, from charting patterns in stock markets and consumer behaviors to finding patterns in the occurrence of natural disasters.

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