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Grand Roundup: Top 5 posts of 2014

The five most-read stories published this year on Scope were:

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscopeManu Prakash, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, has developed an ultra-low-cost paper microscope to aid disease diagnosis in developing regions. The device is further described in a technical paper.

“Stop skipping dessert:” A Stanford neurosurgeon and cancer patient discusses facing terminal illness: Paul Kalanithi, MD, a chief resident in neurological surgery at Stanford, was diagnosed at age 36 with stage IV lung cancer. In this Q&A, he talks about his experiences and about the importance of end-of-life decisions.

Free DIY microscope kits to citizen scientists with inspiring project ideas: Through the Ten Thousand Microscope Project, Manu Prakash is giving away 10,000 build-your-own paper microscope kits to citizen scientists with the most inspiring ideas for how to use his new invention, called the Foldscope.

Top 10 reasons I’m glad to be in medical school: As part of our SMS Unplugged series, medical student Hamsika Chandrasekar highlights ten things she likes about being in medical school. Among them: discount coffee, sleeping in scrubs, and (on a more serious note) “finding meaning every day of my life.”

Knitting as ritual – with potential health benefits?: A piece on The Checkup covers recent research on how activities such as knitting and crocheting may have therapeutic effects in certain populations, including a study in women hospitalized for anorexia.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

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Biomedical research
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Researchers have found that oxytocin, commonly known as the "love hormone" may not be crucial for the social behaviors it's known for.