Most-read stories of 2014: In the laboratory​​​​​

​​Washington University researchers improved human health and advanced discoveries in science and technology

Every day, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis make an impact in the fields of science, engineering and technology. This year, they advanced our understanding of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease, and they developed devices to help surgeons see cancer cells and scientists to capture new vistas through the world’s fastest 2-D camera.

Below are the top 10 most-read Newsroom stories about laboratory discoveries at Washington University in 2014.

For more, see Most-read stories of 2014: In the field and In the classroom and the community.

1. Schizophrenia not a single disease but multiple genetically distinct disorders

Research from the School of Medicine suggested that schizophrenia isn’t a single disease, but a group of eight genetically distinct disorders. The finding could be a first step toward improved diagnosis and treatment for the debilitating psychiatric illness.

2.Special glasses help surgeons ‘see’ cancer​​​​​​​​​​​High-tech glasses developed at the School of Medicine may help surgeons visualize cancer cells, which glow blue when viewed through the eyewear.

3. World’s fastest 2-D camera may enable new scientific discoveries

​A team of biomedical engineers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science developed the world’s fastest receive-only 2-D camera, a device that captures events up to 100 billion frames per second.​

4. Antidepressant may slow Alzheimer’s disease

Antidepressants can reduce production of the main ingredient of Alzheimer’s brain plaques, according to research from the School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania.

5. Finding quantum lines of desire​

Kater Murch, PhD, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, used a superconducting quantum device to continuously and repeatedly record the paths quantum particles, such as atoms or photons, follow through quantum state space.

6. Odor receptors discovered in lungs

Scientists from the Department of Biology in Arts & Sciences and the School of Medicine showed that lungs have odor receptors that can sense cigarette smoke wafting through the air, perhaps triggering coughs to rid the body of the offending substance.

7. Why scratching makes you itch more​

Research from scientists at the Center for the Study of Itch in the School of Medicine revealed that scratching causes the brain to release serotonin, which intensifies the itch sensation.

8. The cat’s meow: Genome reveals clues to domestication​​

Analysis of the cat genome by School of Medicine researchers revealed some surprising clues about domestication of cats, which have lived with humans for some 9,000 years.

9. Infants with leukemia inherit susceptibility​​​

Babies who develop leukemia during the first year of life appear to have inherited an unfortunate combination of genetic variations that may make the infants highly susceptible to the disease, according to a new study led by the School of Medicine’s Todd Druley, MD, PhD.

10. Optical brain scanner goes where other brain scanners can’t​

School of Medicine scientists advanced a brain-scanning technology that tracks what the brain is doing by shining dozens of tiny LED lights on the head. The technique compares favorably to other approaches but avoids the radiation exposure and bulky magnets the others require.