Daily Dose: 10/15/12

Doctors’ Offices Get High-Tech: We all hate getting to the doctors’ office on time, yet having to wait for half an hour (or even longer) to be seen by an actual doctor. Two new tools are available that will hopefully make this wait time shorter. Appointment Status, created by an 18-year old college student, is a website that allows you to keep track of all of your scheduled appointments and even alerts you 30 minutes before an appointment, letting you know whether or not to expect delays in the waiting room. ZocDoc is a site that shows patients when appointments are available, rather than wasting time calling in and scheduling an appointment with a receptionist. This saves time for patients and medical staff. One feature even saves you from filling out the same paperwork over and over again, storing your information for those pesky medical forms.

HPV Vaccine Not Correlated with Sex: Many girls have received their HPV vaccine – you know, the one that comes in 3 separate shots – to prevent this common STD, which is linked with cervical cancer. Some parents were not allowing their children to be vaccinated, though, thinking that it would encourage them to be more promiscuous at a young age by eliminating some of the possible risks of sex (similar to how some parents don’t allow their children to be on birth control). In a study of 1,400 girls, it was found that those girls vaccinated at a young age were no more likely to act promiscuously. Hopefully, this evidence will cause more and more girls to become vaccinated. Public health officials recommend the vaccine for all girls over the age 11, and have even begun recommending the vaccine for boys, too.

Lack of Sleep May Make You Fat: We all know that our brain needs sleep. But it turns out that another kind of cells are also affected by a lack of sleep: fat cells. When you don’t get enough sleep, your fat cells become less sensitive to insulin, which in turn causes your body to produce less of a hormone that regulates hunger. Researchers believe these findings may be useful in treating obesity, because improving the sleep quality of overweight people may aid them in their weight loss. Being told to sleep more seems like an easier treatment than diet and exercise, don’t you think? Read more here.