Daily Dose: 10/31/2012

The End of Yearly Flu Vaccines?: Most vaccines require only one shot that lasts for years or even decades. The flu, however, is the only disease that requires a vaccine year after year, and one year’s vaccine may not protect against future variations of the flu virus. Scientists are now talking about creating a universal flu vaccine, in our lifetime, that would require just two shots when you are young and then a few boosters later in life, much like vaccines for other diseases. Currently, the flu kills around 500,000 people each year, and a universal vaccine would greatly reduce this number. This vaccine would also be effective against new strains of the flu, and would work by attacking the part of the virus that doesn’t change from year to year. Read more about the science behind the flu vaccine here.

Why You Should Exercise Early in the A.M: In a recent study, researchers discovered that exercising before breakfast is an effective way to curb your appetite and keep you from chowing down on unhealthy foods throughout the morning. Participants in the study exercised on the treadmill for 45 minutes and were then shown images of both foods and flowers while researchers used an EEG to measure the strength of their brain waves. The next day the experiment was repeated, but without the exercise. The EEG showed that the brain responded less to food after exercise, but did not respond any differently to the images of the flowers. Researchers concluded that exercise actually reduces your brain’s motivation for food, no matter what your weight or fitness level. Not only will this reduce your cravings for food immediately after working out, but may also reduce overeating throughout the day.