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Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Feb. 24

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

New evidence for a direct sugar-to-diabetes link: Results of a large epidemiological study suggest sugar may also have a direct, independent link to diabetes. Stanford researchers and colleagues analyzed data on sugar availability and diabetes rates from 175 countries over the past 10 years; after accounting for obesity and a large array of other factors, the findings showed that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.

“What’s that?” Stanford researchers identify cells important to hearing loss: Stanford researchers have discovered a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing. Future research on these progenitor cells holds the promise to yield treatments that could help millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells.

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.

Ask Stanford Med: Answers to your questions about heart health and cardiovascular research: In this Q&A,  William Fearon, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Stanford, responds to Scope readers' questions about heart conditions and cardiovascular research as part of our Ask Stanford Med series.

The science of willpower: The popular Stanford Continuing Studies course “The Science of Willpower" served as inspiration for the latest book from Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, PhD.  In this entry, she offers a scientific framework for understanding willpower and explains how stress, sleep deprivation and nutrition can lessen our ability to resist temptations.

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