A dim object in the constellation Perseus initially looked underwhelming. But when Yale astronomer Xuepeng Chen and his colleagues trained ground- and space-based telescopes on it, they realized they were probably watching something no one had ever seen: a mass of dust and gas clumping together into the core of a possible future star. Their report appeared in theAstrophysical Journal.


A study of smokers' brains by psychiatry researcher Hedy Kober and her colleagues helps explain why certain cognitive therapy techniques make it easier to quit. The team used functional magnetic resonance imaging to observe the brains of smokers while subjects practiced a technique known to reduce cravings for cigarettes. The study, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed increased activity in the part of the brain involved in rational thought and decreased activity in an area involved in cravings.


Obesity is increasingly common but still carries a stigma, even among health care professionals. In a survey of the medical literature, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity researchers Rebecca Puhl '04PhD and Chelsea Heuer show that stigma is "pervasive," poses "numerous consequences" for physical and psychological well-being, and "generates health disparities, and interferes with effective obesity intervention efforts." The study appeared in the American Journal of Public Health.


A study led by psychiatry professor Peter Morgan '92 found that the genders of an alcoholic parent and his or her offspring make a difference in the kinds of psychiatric disorders the offspring may develop. Writing in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the authors also reported that "female children of women with alcoholism appear at greatest risk for adult psychopathology."

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