From the Editor: 84.2 The Science of Well-Being

Welcome to Issue 84.2 of the Yale Scientific Magazine! To continue our 117-year legacy of high-quality publications, the new 2011 masthead has worked very hard to bring about new improvements starting with this issue. We are featuring a new series, “Careers in Science,” which will explore exciting post-graduation options in science besides those in the medical and graduate studies. Besides providing our readers with the newest discoveries in science on campus through our widely distributed print magazine, we aim to increase the accessibility of such breakthroughs in the Yale scientific community via our interactive website. We have upgraded our website, now, to include exclusive online multimedia content, such as interviews, laboratory tours, and video demonstrations. We have also expanded our outreach efforts to include the Science Journalism Mentorship Program and the YSM Speaker Series, which you can learn more about on our website.

Amidst all of these busy changes in the Yale Scientific Magazine as well as the challenges of spring semester, we still have to be mindful of how we take care of our bodies. This issue explores the science of well-being – the food policy, environmental science, engineering, psychology, chemistry, and biology behind achieving a healthy and nutritious lifestyle for those of us at Yale as well as the greater global community. Much scientific research at Yale is directed towards improving quality of life, but even seemingly unrelated research results have relevant applications.

Featured in this issue is Professor Rafael Pérez-Escamilla of the Yale School of Public Health, who has researched household food security in the United States as well as abroad. His novel experience-based scales to evaluate dietary and behavioral changes in the face of food insecurity have revolutionized food and nutrition policies in many countries around the world. Professor Menachem Elimelech of the Environmental and Chemical Engineering Departments has developed new technology to desalinate seawater for drink¬able water. Such work has profound applications for millions around the world who lack clean water sources and suffer from preventable diseases. On a more physiological level, Professor Dana Small of the John C. Pierce Laboratory conducts groundbreaking fMRI research on the brain chemistry of eating – how does our brain process taste? What goes wrong when we lose control of our appetite?

As we contemplate these issues related to our well-being, we often overlook the roles that scientific discoveries play in maintaining our health both individually and societally. I hope that this issue of the Yale Scientific Magazine can shed some light on the innovative research done here at Yale and inspire upcoming scientists to go forth in their various areas of expertise to enact positive change to the world around us.

Gennifer Tsoi