Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Why elephants hardly ever get cancer and how that can help us

Friday Oct 9 2015

Why elephants hardly ever get cancer and how that can help us

"Elephants have enhanced defences against cancer that can prevent tumours forming," BBC News reports. Just 1 in 20 elephants die of cancer, compared with around 1 in 5 humans. Researchers wanted to see why this is…

Does surfing the internet raise your blood pressure?

Thursday Oct 8 2015

Teenagers need to spend more time being active and socialising

"American researchers discovered a link between internet use and high blood pressure [in teens]," The Independent reports. But the study did not actually find heavy internet use was associated with high blood pressure...

Weight loss surgery linked to increased self-harm risk

Thursday Oct 8 2015

Increased levels of self-harm in people after weight loss surgery

"Gastric band surgery to lose weight may drive people to suicide and increase their risk of self harm," the Mail Online reports. A new study found a small, though significant, increase in the incidence of self-harm and suicide in people after surgery…

Frozen ovarian transplants 'safe and effective'

Wednesday Oct 7 2015

Frozen ovarian transplants 'safe and effective'

"Ovarian tissue transplants for women who want to have a baby after cancer treatment appear to be safe and are very successful," The Guardian reports after a small Danish study found the technique has around a 1 in 3 pregnancy success rate…

Visits from friends and family 'ward off depression in later life'

Tuesday Oct 6 2015

Might regular company stop you feeling 'down'?

"Low levels of face-to-face social contact 'can double the risk of depression in older people'," say The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. The papers are reporting on a new study that found over-50s...

Cannabis 'safe to treat pain' but no proof it helps

Monday Oct 5 2015

Many people claim cannabis can control their pain

"Smoking cannabis daily 'is safe when treating chronic pain – but only if you're an experienced user', study finds," says a Mail Online headline. It refers to a study done in Canada to see how safe medical cannabis is for treating chronic pain...

Too soon to say being tall increases cancer risk

Friday Oct 2 2015

Too soon to say being tall increases cancer risk

"Higher risk of cancer if you are tall," says the Daily Mirror. Most media outlets provided a similar spin on the seemingly big news that the risk of developing cancer increases with every 10cm of height...

High blood pressure: does it leads to diabetes?

Thursday Oct 1 2015

Blood pressure measurement is an important health metric

"Study gives strongest link yet between blood pressure and diabetes," says The Guardian. At first glance these might be considered two unconnected conditions, but research over the years has led to diabetes being...

Probiotic friendly bacteria may play role in stopping asthma

Thursday Oct 1 2015

Childhood asthma: the casues are complex

"'Good bacteria' key to stopping asthma," says BBC News. Before you go out and buy a year's supply of probiotic yoghurt drinks, it's worth noting a few points that burst the hype...

Are calcium pills any good at cutting fracture risk?

Wednesday Sep 30 2015

Calcium pills: the prevailing wisdom that they're good for bones is being challenged

"Calcium supplements don't work, say experts," The Daily Telegraph reports. While this headline is not strictly true, new research has shown that for most healthy people, calcium supplements will make little difference...

What is Behind the Headlines?

What is Behind the Headlines?

We give you the facts without the fiction. Professor Sir Muir Gray, founder of Behind the Headlines, explains more...

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