The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:
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 published Wednesday 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.
Amyloid, schmamyloid: Stanford MS expert finds dreaded proteins may not be all bad: A pair of Stanford studies, published in recent issues of Science Translational Medicine, counteract the conventional belief that amyloid-forming proteins are universal enemies to the nervous system. The findings show that these proteins are actually beneficial in animal models of multiple sclerosis.
The smoking gun of the Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher’s relationship with the tobacco industry: Stanford’s Robert Jackler, MD, talks about discovering how Britain’s first female prime minister became a shill for tobacco company Philip Morris.
Food allergies and school: One mom’s perspective: In a recent blog entry on MomsRising, one mother shares her anxiety about her young son, who has a life-threatening peanut allergy, starting elementary school.
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.