Leaks from the Lab: 9.08.2010

Office of Sustainability launches new comic series

Inspired by a student conference at the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit, the Dan the Green Dog comic strip is intended to make sustainability more visible to the Yale community, Office of Sustainability Assistant Director Melissa Goodall said. While MJ Truong ’10 was the comic’s illustrator for its first two episodes, Goodall said, the Office of Sustainability is looking for a new designer to produce the strip this year.

Party drug could treat depression

Ketamine — a powerful and dangerous antidepressant frequently used at raves — could soon become a safe, easy-to-use medication, according to a study led by psychiatry and pharmacology professor by Ronald Duman. Because of its potency, the drug is currently only used in clinical settings, with low doses used to treat patients with severe depression resistant to other forms of treatment.

Carpenter brothers fashion tables out of New Haven oaks

Brothers Ted and Zeb Esselstyn, who live in Haddam, Conn., have used wood from two oak trees formerly growing on Edwards Street to create picnic tables and benches for workers and volunteers at the Yale Farm. The brothers are also creating benches for New Haven parks using wood from the city’s 2009 Christmas tree.

Yale researchers discover proteins used to repair DNA

In an article published in the Sept. 2 issue of the journal Nature, a Yale team has identified 10 proteins that interact to repair DNA strands, often damaged by environmental threats such as radiation. The research, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, could lead to a better understanding of how cancer develops.

Simple solution for gastric reflux disease

Zinc salts could potentially provide relief for gastric reflux disease — in which stomach acids leak back into the esophagus — within minutes, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers published online in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Unlike common gastric reflux drugs such as Prilosec and Prevacid, zinc salts offer relief without side effects such as headaches, diarrhea and dizziness.

Scientists explore the mysteries of dark energy

An international team of astronomers, including Yale cosmologist Priyamvada Natarajan, has used data taken by the Hubble Space Telescope as well as ground-based telescopes to narrow the range of estimates about dark energy’s effect on the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is believed to make up about 72 percent of all the mass and energy in the universe.

Law School student groups creates environmental blog

The Green Team, a student group at Yale Law School, has started a new blog about sustainability in the University and in the greater New Haven community. But after an initial posting on Aug. 19, as of press time, the group has yet to add an update.

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