Medical Week in Review 12.15.13

Good morning!  I am enjoying my ideal Sunday so far- watching the news over a steaming cup of coffee while wearing my favorite fuzzy slippers.  I hope your day is off to a similar start.  If holiday parties and Christmas shopping have kept you out of the loop lately, check out this week's more interesting medical news. 

Scientists discover a way to enhance self-control.  Researchers found that electrodes implanted directly on the prefrontal cortex of the brain can slow brain activity.  I wish I would have know about this before downing so many cookies and wine at last night's Christmas party...

Is science getting desperate?  Researchers are testing treatments like hot baths and using parasitic worms to treat autism.  Though these remedies sound crazy, scientists say initial studies show some promise. 

When it comes to food cravings, sugar trumps fat.  A new study found that both sugar and fat cause us to overeat, but sugar 'takes the cake' when it comes to encouraging overeating. 

Now your smartphone can detect your cholesterol level.  Using sophisticated smartphone camera technology, engineer David Erickson has created a device that attaches to the camera of your phone to measure total cholesterol.  Erickson is currently working on improving the device to measure HDL and LDL as well. 

The oldest human DNA on record has been found in Spain.  The DNA comes from 400,000 year old femur bones. 

Let there be light!  Lasers may make the flu vaccine more effective.  Researchers say pre-treating the injection site with an infrared laser may boost the body's immune response to the influenza vaccine increasing its efficacy. 

Not the most wonderful time of the year?  This article takes a look at the psychology of materialism and why it's making you unhappy. 

Can an iPhone app improve your vision?  Researchers say "yes".  A new 2 week program called GlassesOff, accessible on your iPhone, helps improve vision.  After completing the program users could read letters on average 1.6 times smaller than they could previously. 

Be careful the morning after those holiday parties.  A new study shows that driving with a hangover can be just as dangerous as driving drunk

Have a wonderful weekend!  12 days of holiday giveaways resumes tomorrow so stay tuned for more opportunities to win.