Yes, having children can break your heart—really. An international team of researchers that included Stephen C. Stearns, a Yale professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, found that many of the genes that play a role in the development of coronary artery disease also make humans more successful at reproduction. The investigation, published in PLOS Genetics, showed why natural selection hasn’t been able to weed out this age-old killer, despite millennia of opportunities.


Kim Vo

Kim Vo

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Finding the right antidepressant can be a matter of trial and error. In a study of 1,522 patients being treated for major depressive disorder at a Veterans Administration hospital, a team led by Somaia Mohamed, a Yale School of Medicine associate clinical professor of psychiatry, found a potentially better strategy. Some patients whose medication wasn’t working were switched to a new one; some kept their medication, but had it augmented with another. The team reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that 22 percent of the former experienced a remission of their depression, versus 28.9 percent of the latter.


Having a dog or cat at home can provide companionship, security, and lower blood pressure. But if a pet spends its time both outdoors and indoors, the risk that its owners will find ticks on themselves nearly doubles. James Meek, associate director of the Yale Emerging Infections Program at the School of Public Health, worked on a team that surveyed 2,727 households in Connecticut, Maryland, and New York—states with a high prevalence of Lyme and other tick-borne ailments. In Zoonoses and Public Health, the researchers suggest that pet owners conduct daily tick checks and talk to their vets about tick control products. 

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