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Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Feb. 19

The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:

A study of people’s ability to love: To celebrate Valentine’s Day, quarterly DVD magazine Wholphin released a short film documenting an experiment by Stanford neuroscientists to determine if it’s possible for one person to love more than another person can.

Can yoga help women suffering from fibromyalgia?: A study 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.

A stem cell trial halted, but the pursuit continues: In a Stanford Hospital & Clinics Q&A, neurosurgeon Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, discusses his motivation to pursue and study embryonic stem cell treatments and his involvement in a landmark stem cell trial that many considered a major step forward in moving research discoveries toward clinical application.

Ask Stanford Med: Sleep specialist taking questions on how to ‘spring forward’ without feeling fatigued: Stanford’s Rafael Pelayo, MD, is taking questions from Scope readers on sleep research and ways for making sure the approaching daylight savings time change doesn’t cut into sleep time.

Potential therapeutic target for Huntington’s disease discovered by researchers in Taiwan, Stanford: Researchers at the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan and Stanford’s School of Medicine have discovered a protein that may one day be a viable therapeutic target for those afflicted with Huntington’s disease.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Feb. 12

The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:

Ask Stanford Med: Neuroscientist taking questions on pain and love’s analgesic effects: As part of Scope’s Ask Stanford Med feature, Stanford neuroscientist Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, is responding to questions about the analgesic effects of love, as well as general pain questions.

Can yoga help women suffering from fibromyalgia?: A study 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.

Report highlights how integrative medicine is used in the U.S.: A Bravewell Collaborative survey involving 29 integrative medicine centers, including Stanford, is providing new insights on how integrative medicine is practiced in the U.S.

Potential therapeutic target for Huntington’s disease discovered by researchers in Taiwan, Stanford: Researchers at the National Yang-Ming University in Taiwan and Stanford’s School of Medicine have discovered a protein that may one day be a viable therapeutic target for those afflicted with Huntington’s disease.

The high cost of pain: Medical school dean testifies on problem to U.S. Senate: In his ongoing effort to push for a public health campaign to battle our country’s pain epidemic, Philip Pizzo, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, traveled to Washington D.C. to speak before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions about the cost of treating pain.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Feb. 5

The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:

Can yoga help women suffering from fibromyalgia?: A study 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.

A conversation with Stanford psychologist Fred Luskin on forgiveness and its health benefitsFred Luskin, PhD, a research associate at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and co-founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project answers questions about forgiveness submitted via the @SUMedicine Twitter feed using the hashtag #AskSUMed and the comments section on Scope.

Abraham Verghese’s “Cutting for Stone:” Two years as a New York Times bestseller: Cutting for Stone, the novel authored by Stanford professor of medicine, Abraham Verghese, MD, is celebrating two full years on The New York Times’ best seller list.

Viagra may treat rare childhood deformity: Physicians at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital have discovered that Viagra causes severe, hard-to-treat malformations of the lymphatic system to shrink.

New social network aims to help anxiety sufferers: Founded by Salomon Ptasevich, a new social network called AnxietySocialNet aims to help people suffering from anxiety disorders address their symptoms, find information and network with others.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Jan. 22

The five most-read stories 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.

Stanford psychologist Fred Luskin taking questions on the health benefits of forgiving: A new Scope feature gives readers the opportunity to ask questions to Stanford faculty, either by commenting on Scope or by tweeting an @reply to @SUMedicine and including the hashtag #AskSUMed. To start things off, Fred Luskin, PhD, a research associate at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and co-founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, took questions this week about why forgiveness is important for health.

The health risks of high heels: In a Well post, Gretchen Reynolds reports on a new Australian study that found wearing heels “may compromise muscle efficiency in walking” and may increase the likelihood of strain injuries.  She also offers advice from Neil J. Cronin, PhD, the researcher who led the work, for readers who can’t kick their heel habit.

The end of sex?: In a talk entitled “The End of Sex,” Stanford law professor Hank Greely, JD, made the prediction that in the next 50 years or so, the majority of babies in developed countries will be spawned in IVF clinics.

More-nutritious breast milk for preemies: A Stanford team led by neonatologist William Rhine, MD, recently published the second of two papers confirming that moms who used hands-on pumping had higher fat content in their milk than women relying on electric pumps alone.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Jan. 15

The five most-read stories on Scope this week were:

More-nutritious breast milk for preemies: A Stanford team led by neonatologist William Rhine, MD, recently published the second of two papers confirming that moms who used hands-on pumping had higher fat content in their milk than women relying on electric pumps alone.

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.

Immunology escapes from the mouse trapMark Davis, PhD, director of Stanford’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infectious Disease advocates to move immunology research beyond mice and using humans for research.

How lack of sleep affects the brain and may increase appetite, weight gain: A growing body of scientific research, including a 2004 Stanford study, shows that sleep duration is an important regulator of body weight and metabolism. Now findings recently published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism offer additional insight into the link between sleep deprivation, cognitive function and weight gain.

The end of sex?: In a talk entitled “The End of Sex,” Stanford law professor Hank Greely, JD, made the prediction that in the next 50 years or so, the majority of babies in developed countries will be spawned in IVF clinics.

Image of the Week

Image of the Week: Precision Cut

This artwork was a winner in a 2011 art contest organized by the Education Department of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The piece, entitled “Precision Cut,” was painted by 11th grade student Olga Belyanina.

More winning pieces by students, all related to health, can be viewed in the Bush Library’s Flickr gallery.

Photo courtesy George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Jan. 8

The five most-read stories 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 anxiety and pain reducing powers of Adele: Two recently published studies show that providing patients with a set of headphones and allowing them to listen to music may help alleviate their pain and anxiety during certain medical procedures.

More-nutritious breast milk for preemies: A Stanford team led by neonatologist William Rhine, MD, recently published the second of two papers confirming that moms who used hands-on pumping had higher fat content in their milk than women relying on electric pumps alone.

The science of willpower: In a just-published book based on her popular Stanford Continuing Studies course, Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD, took a closer look at the science of willpower and examined the latest research on the topic. She shares some of her thoughts in this Q&A.

CDC binge-drinking study demonstrates cell phones’ value in research: Keith Humphreys, PhD, discusses the value of surveying cell phone users in medical research, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest findings showing 38 million Americans engage in binge drinking. This year’s survey was the first to include cell phones and, as a result, the number of binge drinkers jumped.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top 10 posts for 2011

As the clock counts down to the New Year, we would like to recap the top ten posts on Scope in 2011. These are the stories you read most this year:

A beautiful blood clot: A colorized scanning electron micrograph of a blood clot. The image comes from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where findings showed how fibrin behaves in blood clots.

Can yoga help women suffering from fibromyalgia?: A study 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.

Disease-fighting psychology: Scientists have begun to define some disease-wary actions as examples of what could be called a psychological immune system. A recent Current Directions in Psychological Science paper by psychologist Mark Schaller, PhD, of the University of British Columbia, provides a brief introduction to the fairly new concept.

Pumpkin Jobs: Stanford med student’s carving tricks – a real treat!: Third-year medical student Raymond Tsai’s latest Halloween masterpiece is a jack-o-lantern that pays homage to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Discussing sleep and work performance among health-care professionals: Associate professor Steven Howard, MD, is well known for his research on fatigue and sleep deprivation, especially as it relates to health-care professionals. In this Q&A, Howard discusses how fatigue negatively affects performance, the role cultural beliefs or societal pressures play in increasing the prevalence of sleep deprivation in our country and how organizations and professional societies can promote sleep as a priority among health-care professionals.

A conversation about the merits of stretchingMichael Fredericson, MD, head team physician with the Stanford Sports Medicine Program, discusses the role of flexibility in injury prevention and fitness performance and what the scientific evidence indicates about the effectiveness of stretching.

Research shows remote weight loss interventions equally effective as face-to-face coaching programs: Remote weight loss interventions, such as online or phone counseling by health coaches, are as equally effective as programs requiring face-to-face contact, according to findings presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting.

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 future of probiotics: Each of us, if healthy, is carrying around a vast internal ecosystem of microbes in our gut. As Stanford microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, and colleagues point out in an article recently published in Science Translational Medicine these bugs work together as a community, and they’re largely working for us: helping us digest our food, fending off invading pathogens, secreting critical nutrients such as vitamins, even performing tasks critical to the development of our own tissues.

Is barefoot running better for the body?: Stanford orthopaedic surgeon Michael Fredericson, MD, discusses shoeless running, things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about doing it, and the importance of foot gear, or lack thereof, in injury prevention.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Dec. 4

The five most-read stories 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.

Mouthpieces tell researchers about force and direction of football head impacts: In an NBC Nightly News segment, Dan Garza, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, discusses how researchers are using data from high-tech mouthpieces worn by Stanford football players to advance the medical understanding of concussions in football.

Study shows rotating night shift work may raise risk of Type 2 diabetes:  New findings recently published in PLoS Medicine suggest that women who work the night shift, even if it’s only once every few days or weeks, may have an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Examining how the brain processes music: New findings (subscription required) recently published in NeuroImage offer additional insights into how music affects our neural circuits.  The researchers found that music listening recruits not only the auditory areas of the brain, but also employs large-scale neural networks.

Occupy the Future awareness event to take place at Stanford tomorrow: A series of teach-in style sessions inspired by the Occupy protests were held on the Stanford campus Friday in an effort to increase awareness about social inequality, the erosion of American democracy and the link between unrestrained growth and the current environmental crisis.  Three of the sessions focused on inequalities in health-care.

Image of the Week

Image of the Week: Medical center architecture tour

The Lane Medical Library offers monthly walking tours of Stanford University Medical Center’s architecture. The tour traces the medical school’s history from 1850s San Francisco to present-day Palo Alto, and highlights some of the artistic and design choices that have resulted in the school’s current built environment. The tour is free and open to the public, but be sure to reserve your space in advance. The December tour is already full, but there is a tour scheduled once per month.

Photo courtesy Stanford Medical History Center

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