The five most-read posts on Scope this week were:
FDA's warning over alcoholic energy drinks is progress, but not perfection: On Wednesday, the FDA issued a warning letter to manufacturers of caffeinated alcohol beverages, one which has already announced that it will remove caffeine from its popular and potent drink "Four Loko." But does this regulatory action resolve public health concerns surrounding these products? Keith Humphreys, PhD, says not entirely.
Visualizing the brain as a Universe of synapses: Researchers at the School of Medicine, applying a state-of-the-art imaging system to brain-tissue samples from mice, have been able to quickly and accurately locate and count the myriad connections between nerve cells in unprecedented detail, as well as to capture and catalog those connections' surprising variety. And they've translated the data into a virtual video "fly-through," which you can watch on the web.
Stanford neurologist rocks out for science: Frank Longo, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and 16 other "Rock Stars of Science" are featured alongside well-known musicians in a special public service campaign in GQ's December "Men of the Year" edition, available nationally Nov. 23.
Health concerns over whole body X-ray scanners: In a letter to the Obama Administration, four faculty from UC San Francisco alert government officials to what they say are, "serious concerns about the potential health risks of the recently adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security scanners."
Collaborative project creates a virtual world for cancer patients: A new collaborative effort initiated by Mette Hoybye, PhD, a visiting scholar at the Center on Stress and Health, and Henrik Bennetsen, chief executive officer and co-founder of Katalabs, aims to fuse cancer therapy with virtual worlds to provide a learning space for young cancer patients. The project, which is aimed at patients ages 13 to 24, is called BE Community.