The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:
Stanford establishes ‘banking system’ to help faculty balance their professional and personal lives: A story published recently in the Chronicle of Higher Education highlighted a new program at Stanford that was designed to help medical school faculty achieve a better work-life balance.
How nutritional choices may affect impulse control and brain efficiency: Research presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference offers more evidence that good nutrition is important for cognitive function. In the study (.pdf), researchers found that obese people are less efficient at making complex decisions, which could be important for controlling impulse behavior.
Brain Police: Stem cells’ fecund daughters also boss other cells around: The brain’s key “breeder” cells, it turns out, do more than that. They secrete substances that boost the numbers and strength of critical brain-based immune cells believed to play a vital role in brain health, according to new Stanford research. This finding adds a new dimension to scientists’ understanding of how resident stem cells and stem cell transplants may improve brain function.
A conversation about the importance of conveying complex scientific concepts to broad audiences: Last month, Kristin Sainani, PhD, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Medicine, launched an online science-writing class that teaches researchers how to clearly and concisely communicate their work. In this Q&A, she talks about the importance of teaching researchers how to explain their work to broad audiences and offers some tips for conveying complex scientific concepts in a reader-friendly manner.
From frustration to foundation: Embracing a diagnosis of celiac disease: Inspire contributor Alice Bast shares her empowering story of living with celiac disease and reveals why the day she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder was the best day of her life.