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Yale aging expert and evolutionary biologist receive 'genius' grants
Date:9/23/2009

f multiple health conditions, particularly trade-offs among health conditions, the harms and benefits of commonly recommended treatments, and the need for universal health outcomes that transcend individual diseases.

"I hope to use this grant to further the work of incorporating fall prevention into the healthcare of older adults and to further explore the complexities of clinical decision-making in the face of multiple co-existing diseases," said Tinetti, who is chief of geriatric research at the Dorothy Adler Geriatric Assessment Center at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Prum, who serves as chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and curator of ornithology at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, has diverse research interests that cross many academic boundaries. The ornithologist is best known for his work studying the development and evolution of feathers and his research that supports the idea that dinosaurs were ancestors of contemporary birds.

Prum and his Yale colleagues recently found fossil evidence that a 47-million-year-old bird had colored feathers, similar to those of a starling. Prum hopes the work will allow scientists to discern the color of many dinosaurs.

His study of sexual selection and ornamentation in mating rituals of birds led to a fascination with the physics of structural colors, which do not arise from pigment molecules but are produced by light scattering from the material itself as in oil slicks and soap bubbles. Prum has done research on structural colors of birds, monkeys, butterflies and dragonflies.

Currently, Prum is collaborating with Yale professors in the School of Engineering, and the Department of Physics to explore how the self-assembly mechanisms of color- producing nanostructures in bird feathers and butterfly scales can be applied in the development of new photonic technologies. Prum is also interested in studying the aesthetic philosophy of art and beaut
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Contact: Karen N. Peart
karen.peart@yale.edu
203-432-1326
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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