As married couples age, the number of chronic health conditions each spouse has to deal with often increases. In a first-of-its-kind study, School of Public Health associate professor Joan K. Monin and her research team brought 98 older couples into the laboratory to assess how receiving emotional support from one’s partner about one’s health concerns affects blood pressure and heart rate.

Earlier investigations had suggested that couples who provided mutual support would experience the greatest lowering of cardiovascular measures. But in the October issue of Health Psychology, the researchers reported that the largest decreases resulted when wives provided emotional support to their husbands; the reverse situation, when wives received support from their husbands, resulted in elevated heart rates for both partners and more distress for the wives.


What happens when families are forced out of their homes? John Eric Humphries, an assistant professor of economics, worked with a team that drilled down into the data on eviction cases brought in Cook County, Illinois, from 2000 to 2016. (Roughly 30,000 were brought every year.) In a working paper for the National Bureau of Economics Research, the researchers showed that for most families, eviction is one more setback after a long downward spiral of debt: eviction doesn’t start the financial strain, but caps it. Thus, policy interventions to help struggling families early on are likely to be more effective than programs aimed at relieving distress post-eviction.


A bold experiment in Brazil to reduce mosquito populations has produced an unanticipated outcome, according to Yale biologist Jeffrey Powell and an international team of researchers.

Every week for more than two years, Brazilian scientists working in the city of Jacobina released roughly half a million male mosquitoes that had been genetically engineered to pass along genes that would kill their offspring. The hope was that the mosquito population would decline, and with it the transmission of diseases.

At first, the strategy did cause a drop in mosquito numbers. But analyses by Powell and colleagues, published in Scientific Reports, showed that some mosquitoes in the area are living descendants of the genetically engineered mosquitoes. “Evidently,” write the researchers, some “rare viable hybrid offspring” of the mosquitoes released at Jacobina can survive and reproduce.

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