Behind the Headlines

Your guide to the science that makes the news

Could brain-eating cannibals provide the key to treating CJD?

Thursday Jun 11 2015

Could brain-eating cannibals provide the key to treat CJD?

"Eating brains helped Papua New Guinea tribe become disease resistant," The Daily Telegraph reports. The Fore people, who used to eat the brains of dead relatives as a mark of respect, may have evolved resistance to prion diseases such as CJD…

Facebook and Twitter could be used to help people quit smoking

Thursday Jun 11 2015

Facebook and Twitter could be used to help people quit smoking

"Using social media to kick the [smoking] habit means you're 'TWICE as likely to succeed'," the Mail Online reports. A study of a Canadian social media campaign aimed at helping young people quit smoking found it…

Does your birthday affect your disease risk?

Wednesday Jun 10 2015

Birth month 'has an effect on lifetime disease risk'

"Scientists Find Surprising Link Between Birth Month And Disease Risk," the Huffington Post reports. Using data mining techniques on 1.7 million electronic medical records, US researchers found an association between…

Woman gives birth using ovaries she had frozen as a child

Wednesday Jun 10 2015

Woman gives birth using ovaries she had frozen as a child

"A young woman in Belgium has become the first to give birth to a healthy baby after having her fertility restored by a transplant of ovarian tissue that was removed and frozen when she was a child," The Guardian reports…

Breast cancer 'tumour trigger' that spreads disease discovered

Tuesday Jun 9 2015

Breast cancer 'tumour trigger' that spreads disease discovered

"Experts have identified a 'trigger' which enables breast cancer cells to spread," the Daily Mirror reports. The trigger – a protein called CCL3 – appears to help cancerous cells spread into the lungs…

Wet wipes may help spread hospital bugs

Tuesday Jun 9 2015

Wet wipes may help spread hospital bugs

"A new study finds that detergent wipes are spreading bugs in hospitals," The Daily Telegraph reports. This isn't strictly true, as the study didn't do any tests in hospitals. But through laboratory experiments…

New blood test for viral infections shows promise

Monday Jun 8 2015

New blood test could reveal your entire history of viral infections

"New test uses a single drop of blood to reveal entire history of viral infections," The Guardian reports. Every time you are infected by a virus, your immune system produces specific types of antibodies in response…

'Missing link' between brain and immune system discovered

Monday Jun 8 2015

'Missing link' between brain and immune system discovered

"Newly discovered vessels beneath skull could link brain and immune system," The Guardian reports. The discovery, which has been described as textbook-changing, could lead to new treatments for a range of neurological conditions…

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

Friday Jun 5 2015

Depression 'starts in the womb' claim is unproven

"The seeds of depression can be sown in the womb," is the claim in the Mail Online. A study did find that depression during pregnancy was linked to an increased risk of depression in adult offspring, but this could be due to a range of factors…

Children with autism may be supersensitive to change

Friday Jun 5 2015

Children with autism may be super-sensitive to change

"People with autism … are over-sensitive to the world," the Mail Online reports. It reports on an animal study involving a rat model of autism, where a chemical is used to mimic the development of autism in rats…

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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