The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:
Could gut bacteria play a role in mental health?: Many of us have experienced butterflies (or something less pleasant) in the pit of our stomach owing to stress or anxiety. But, as discussed in this recent article in The Verge, the link between our mental state and the bacteria in our gut could work both ways.
Researchers reverse pulmonary hypertension in rats by blocking inflammation-producing pathway: Until recently, the cause of pulmonary hypertension - dangerously high blood pressure in the lungs caused by narrowed pulmonary arteries - was unclear. Now, a Stanford-led study of pulmonary hypertension in rats suggests that an inflammation-producing pathway may be to blame.
The mystery surrounding lung-transplant survival rates: An October 2012 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.
Ask Stanford Med: Director of Female Sexual Medicine Program responds to questions on sexual health: In this installment of Ask Stanford Med, Leah Millheiser, MD, the director of Stanford's Female Sexual Medicine Program, addresses your questions related to female sexual health, such as the relationship between body image and sex drive, treatments for low sex drive in women and the possible affects of bicycling on sexual health.
Clues about kidney disease from an unexpected direction: A recently published study on the role of primary cilium in DNA repair may also yield a new way to treat kidney disease. In this Stanford Medicine magazine story, my colleague explains how Stanford professor Karlene Cimprich, PhD, and her research team discovered the link between proteins that repair DNA when cells are stressed, and the faulty proteins present in certain forms of kidney disease.