The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:
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.
A closer look at Supreme Court’s decision on gene patenting: In a guest commentary, Jake Sherkow, JD, a fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Law and the Biosciences, dissects the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that isolated genomic DNA is not eligible for patent protection, but that cDNA – “cloned” or “complementary DNA” – can be patented.
White House to highlight Stanford professors as “Champions of Change”: The White House honored (.pdf) thirteen “Champions of Change” who are promoting and using open scientific data and publications to accelerate progress and improve our world. Two Stanford professors — medical-systems expert Atul Butte, MD, PhD, and bioengineer Drew Endy, PhD — were among the entrepreneurs, academics, and researchers chosen for making an impact across disciplines and for helping make “open” the default in scientific research.
Stanford study reveals why human voices are less rewarding for kids with autism: In autism, brain regions tailored to respond to voices are poorly connected to reward-processing circuits, according to a new study by Stanford researchers. The research could help explain why children with autism struggle to grasp the social and emotional aspects of human speech.
Are women more compassionate than men? What the science tells us: In a Psychology Today blog entry, Emma Seppala, PhD, associate director of Stanford's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, tackles the question of whether women are more innately compassionate than men. Seppala outlines some of the scientific research on the topic before arguing that it's the expression of compassion that may differ among women and men.