Extinct tortoise species making reappearance

Genetic traces of some extinct species of Galapagos tortoises are showing up in their contemporary living descendants, according to recent research by University scientists. The finding may spur breeding programs to bring back the species and create a new picture of the origins and future of tortoises. Work is now also under way to completely sequence the tortoise genome, to gain a better understanding of the species.

Helpful bacteria inhibits development of Type 1 diabetes

A common stomach bacteria may help protect against the development of Type I diabetes, according to a study by researchers from Yale and the University of Chicago. The findings lend credence to a common theory that a lack of exposure to bacteria and viruses actually leads to increased risk of diseases and immune-system disorders. The findings were reported in the journal Nature on Sunday.

New prize to support entrepreneurial environment ventures

The University announced on Monday an annual $25,000 award, dubbed the Sabin Environmental Venture Prize, to encourage entrepreneurial environmental ventures among Yale students and faculty members. The first prize will be awarded next April by the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale.

Mammalian pregnancy linked to genetic protein evolution

Yale researchers have discovered a connection between the evolution of the placenta and uterus in mammals and the evolutionary changes of a certain regulatory protein. The changes in the gene limited the immune system, allowing the developing embryo to grow uninhibited by the natural immune response. The study was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Most dark-matter-filled galaxy discovered in Milky Way

A Yale astronomer led a team that discovered Segue 1, one of about two dozen small satellite galaxies within the Milky Way galaxy. Segue 1 is the least luminous, most dark-matter-filled galaxy known to exist — at least a billion times less bright than the Milky Way.

Patient-care safety gaps cause for concern during “sign-outs”

Sign-outs — transfers of a patient from one doctor to another during shift changes — may lead to poor or delayed patient care, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers. Closing these safety gaps during frequent sign-outs can help reduce inefficient patient care, the study reported. The study was reported in the Archive of Internal Medicine.