Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Alcohol linked to an increased risk of skin cancer

Monday Aug 7 2017

"Drinking just one glass of beer or wine a day could give you skin cancer, scientists have warned," the Mail Online reports. Researchers pooled the results of previous studies and found a small, but significant, association between alcohol…

Diabetes drug may be helpful for Parkinson's disease

Friday Aug 4 2017

"A drug commonly used to treat diabetes could help those living with Parkinson's disease," The Guardian reports. A small study suggests a drug called exenatide may have a modest beneficial effect on motor (movement) symptoms…

Gene editing used to repair diseased genes in embryos

Thursday Aug 3 2017

"Deadly gene mutations removed from human embryos in landmark study," reports The Guardian. Researchers have used a gene-editing technique to repair faults in DNA that can cause an often-fatal heart condition…

Kitchen sponges may be a 'bacteria hotspot' – but no need to worry

Thursday Aug 3 2017

"Study finds just a sugar-cube sized piece of kitchen sponge can contain 54 BILLION bacterial cells," the Mail Online reports. A German study sampled a number of different kitchen sponges and found they contained far more bacteria than expected…

Could discovery of 'fat switch' cure obesity?

Wednesday Aug 2 2017

"Obesity cure possible after discovery of fat 'switch'," is the somewhat premature headline in The Daily Telegraph. Researchers have identified a "biological switch" that controls when fat cells convert fat into energy for the body…

More older adults 'may benefit from taking statins,' study reports

Tuesday Aug 1 2017

"Nearly all men over 60 and women over 75 eligible for statins, analysis suggests," The Guardian reports. This is the finding of a study that aimed to see how many people in England…

Calls for GPs to offer HIV screening in high-risk areas

Monday Jul 31 2017

"Offering routine HIV tests to people when they register with new GP surgeries in high-risk areas is cost-effective and could save lives," The Guardian reports. The news comes from the findings of a large trial in the London Borough of Hackney…

Reports that frequent drinking prevents diabetes are inaccurate

Friday Jul 28 2017

"Drinking a moderate amount of certain drinks such as wine three to four times a week reduced diabetes risk by about 30%," The Guardian reports. That was the main reported finding of a Danish study looking at the impact of alcohol on diabetes risk…

Questions over advice to finish courses of antibiotics

Thursday Jul 27 2017

"Should you finish a course of antibiotics?" asks BBC Online. The question is prompted by a new review suggesting concerns around antibiotic treatment are driven by fears of under-treatment, when we should instead be concerned about over-use...

Eye screening linked to fall in sight loss in people with diabetes

Thursday Jul 27 2017

"The proportion of diabetics who go blind or suffer sight loss has almost halved since a new national retinopathy screening programme started in 2007," BBC News reports…

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