The fuel cell, a clean-energy device that uses a zero-pollution catalytic chemical reaction to convert fuel into electricity, is not widely used; existing catalysts are too inefficient and lack durability. Yale engineer Jan Schroers and his team have found a possible solution: a catalyst system made with ultrathin nanowires of a novel material called a bulk metallic glass. The longer-lasting fuel cells, described in ACS Nano, are 2.4 times more efficient than typical catalysts.


Relief may be on the way for many people plagued by the mysterious and intractable itching that can accompany various skin disorders, liver and kidney diseases, and multiple sclerosis. Yale professor of anesthesiology and neurobiology Robert LaMotte and colleagues have identified a molecule in the body that causes the condition, which could lead the way to a medication that can blunt its impact. The work appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience.


In a survey of nearly 4,000 Connecticut high school students, Yale psychiatrist Marc Potenza ’87, ’93PhD, ’94MD, and his research group found that for about 3.5 percent of the teens, shopping had become a problem with many of the hallmarks of addiction. The Comprehensive Psychiatry study showed that teens with problem shopping also frequently suffered from substance abuse, depression, and antisocial behavior; these associations suggest possible treatment approaches.


Two-foot-long swimming invertebrates known as anomalocaridids topped the Cambrian food chain until about 500 million years ago—or so scientists long believed. But with recent discoveries in Morocco, Yale paleontologists Derek Briggs and Peter Van Roy have shown that anomalocaridids continued to thrive, grow even longer, and dominate the seas for another 30 million years. The research appeared in Nature.  

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