The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:
When you say nothing at all: Living with an invisible illness: Inspire contributor Dawn Nellor explores the communication gap between chronically ill patients and physicians, discusses steps she’s taken to be more proactive in her own care and explains how she has strengthened her voice as a patient. Overall, she urges physicians and patients to respect each other in an effort to achieve greater results.
Getting back to the basics: A student’s experience working with the Indian Health Service: In a guest post, Layton Lamsam, a junior at Stanford, reflects on his experiences visiting the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota as part of his Rural and American Indian Health Disparities class.
How the brain processes trauma and why support, altruism can ease fear: The traumatic events at Monday’s Boston Marathon have many of us bracing ourselves for what might be coming next. A Healthland piece this week explains that this feeling of being on high alert is a result of how our brain processes traumatic experiences and advocates for using compassion to combat fear.
Lightning strikes twice: Optogenetics pioneer Karl Deisseroth’s newest technique renders tissues transparent, yet structurally intact: Stanford researchers have developed a process that turns organs transparent without compromising their original structure. In a paper recently published in Nature, they describe the process, called CLARITY, and demonstrate the technique on a mouse brain. The breakthrough holds the promise of providing a truer picture of the pathways underlying both normal mental function and neurological illnesses from autism to Alzheimer’s.
The mystery surrounding lung-transplant survival rates: An October article in the San Francisco Chronicle offered a look at the challenges facing lung transplant patients and explored why a significant number don’t live beyond the five-year mark, despite improvements in survival rates.