The five most-read posts on Scope this week were:
Can yoga help women suffering from fibromyalgia?: A study recently published in the Journal of Pain Research shows that practicing yoga boosts levels of the stress hormone cortisol and could help ease some symptoms of fibromyalgia such as pain, fatigue, muscle stiffness and depression.
The NIH gets tough on conflicts of interest: The National Institutes of Health recently finalized new rules aimed at reducing financial conflicts of interest and industry influence among federally funded researchers.
The placenta sacrifices itself to keep baby healthy in case of starvation, research shows: A study (subscription required) involving mice suggests the placenta is intrinsically linked to the fetal hypothalamus and capable of changing its form in order to fit the growing baby’s needs. The findings were published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Patrick House discusses Toxoplasma gondii, parasitic mind control and zombies: A Q&A with Patrick House, PhD candidate in neuroscience at the School of Medicine, about parasitic mind control and the latest scientific research on Toxoplasma gondii.
Number of med school applicants at an all-time high: The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that medical school applications reached an all-time high in 2011. The total number of applicants and enrollees from most major racial and ethnic groups also increased in 2011.