For the quarter ending in March 2008, the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index plummeted 14.1 percent, the worst drop in its 20-year history. Yale economist Robert Shiller recently extended the index back almost 100 years and discovered that during the Depression, the largest slump in housing prices—in 1932—was only 10.5 percent.

Yale scientists have discovered a new way to rid a brain—at least a mouse’s brain—of amyloid plaques, the hallmark of Alzheimer's. Immunobiologist Richard Flavell and his colleagues genetically engineered mice that would develop the plaques and that had a key immune system pathway blocked. The blockage unleashed cells that attacked and eliminated up to 90 percent of the plaques, and the animals' performance on some memory tests improved. The study appeared online in May in Nature Medicine.

Using changes in wind speed as a proxy for temperature, Yale geologists Steven Sherwood and Robert Allen calculated that the atmospheric temperatures at high altitudes in the tropics have increased by 0.65 degrees C. per decade since 1970. This measurement confirmed a key (but hard-to-prove) prediction of global warming climate models. The work appeared online in Nature Geology in May.

Eubranchipus Holmani lives! A fingernail-sized fairy shrimp that had not been seen in Connecticut for more than 50 years was rediscovered by Peabody Museum biologist Eric Lazo-Wasem in early May in a temporary pond in Groton. Lazo-Wasem hopes to have the invertebrate placed on the state’s endangered species list.


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