The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:
“Live Because:” Living a fuller life with chronic illness: In this first-person piece, Michael Bihovsky, a musical theater composer and performer, talks about his experience with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and shares his philosophy of "Live Because." The idea is that in many cases, patients with chronic illness can live a more fulfilling life with their disease than they would have without it.
Food stamp use shows scope of child poverty: Findings published in 2009 in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine suggest child poverty in the United States is even more widespread than previously suspected. Stanford’s Paul Wise, MD, comments on the findings and how the current economic downturn is making the situation worse.
The promise of yoga-based treatments to help veterans with PTSD: In a study from Stanford scholar Emma Seppala, PhD, yoga-based breathing exercises dramatically decreased post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. Traditional PTSD is not effective for a large chunk of veterans, Seppala said, and this study provides numbers to back up anecdotal evidence that yogic breathing techniques can be helpful.
How meditation can influence gene activity: Findings recently published in PLoS One suggest that mindful-based therapies, such as meditation, may change practitioners’ gene activity and boost their overall health.
Big Data in Biomedicine conference opens this week: The Big Data in Biomedicine conference kicked off at Stanford on Wednesday. The event brought together leading figures from academia, industry, government and philanthropic foundations to discuss the burgeoning opportunities for mining the vast amounts of biomedical data housed in public databases.